Potential Storm Ellen tracking closer to Ireland than predicted - forecaster
Met Eireann is warning that there is a risk of snowfall next week for much for the country particularly Ulster and Connacht, with rain and blustery conditions on the way for Co Kildare this weekend.
"Mostly cloudy and rather blustery today with outbreaks of rain edging southeastwards across the province. The rain will be generally light and patchy in nature with decent dry periods also. Top temperatures of 9 to 12 degrees in fresh and gusty southwest winds," said forecasters.
Patchy rain and drizzle will clear southeastwards tonight with a mix of clear spells and scattered heavy showers following. After a mild start it will turn colder with minimum temperatures ranging 4 to 7 degrees by dawn on Saturday. Winds will remain fresh to strong west or southwest in direction.
TOMORROW - Saturday 22nd February
Saturday will be cold and breezy with sunny spells and showers. A few hail showers are possible. Top temperatures of just 6 to 8 degrees in fresh and gusty west or southwest breezes.
Overview: Unsettled and often cold.
Saturday night: Rain will extend across the bulk of the country on Saturday night (possibly turning to sleet over northern hills) but parts of north Ulster may escape dry. Minimum temperatures of 1 to 4 degrees generally but ranging 5 to 8 degrees in southern counties.
Sunday: Rather cloudy to start the day on Sunday with some mist and drizzle. However, it is expected to brighten up with good dry periods for a time. However, by late afternoon cloud will thicken in the southwest and rain will spread across much of Munster and Connacht by evening time. Maximum temperatures of 5 to 8 degrees. The rain will extend nationwide early on Sunday night accompanied by strong southeast winds. Some snowfall is possible for a time in Ulster and north Connacht. Minimum temperatures of 1 to 4 degrees in the north but a much milder 5 to 9 degrees further south.
Monday: It looks set to start cloudy and wet on Monday with spells of rain. Brighter and colder conditions with scattered showers will follow for the afternoon. Highest temperatures of 9 to 12 degrees (occurring in the morning) in fresh westerly winds.
Rainfall totals of up to 90mm are expected over the next five days, says weather forecaster, Alan O'Reilly however Kildare may escape the worst of it.
According to the Midlands based forecaster, he said: "Lots of talk about a storm named Ellen. Well as I said earlier, no storm has been named Ellen yet.
"The ECMWF does show some storms passing near Ireland over the next few days. The UK Met Office could name one of them but as of yet they haven’t. Regardless of what is or isn’t named the weather models show some high rainfall for Western areas over coming days. Totals of up to 90mm over next 5 days showing for some parts of the West."