Storm Irene to bring high winds and more rain

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A status yellow warning has just been issued for eight countries across Ireland and we're not even surprised.

Rainfall accumulations of 25mm to 40mm are expected over this period, with the potential for higher amounts on hills and mountains and localised spot flooding.

While winds of up to 65 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 110 kilometres per hour are expected in Atlantic coastal areas between 9 am this morning and 6 o'clock tomorrow morning.

Winds will be strongest along Atlantic coastal counties at first but the strong winds will extend countrywide through the course of the Monday afternoon and evening. Few of the showers may be heavy.

The warning has been put in place from today until Tuesday at 9am.

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The good news is that the heavy rain is expected to clear early on Tuesday as a 1,500-mile wide "African air plume" brings bright and sunny weather, with temperatures hitting a seasonably pleasant 16 Celsius. "Highest temperatures of 11 to 14 degrees with fresh to strong and gusty southeast winds, veering southwesterly later in the day".

Showers dying out quickly this evening and dry in many places for a time tonight but some damp misty conditions will move up from the south and more persistent rain will develop into the southwest towards morning.

This, according to BBC weather forecaster Barra Best, signals the beginning of Storm Irene which is set to batter the country as it makes its way up from Portugal.

"Overnight lows of 9 or 10 degrees Celsius".

"The weekend will be largely dry and bright for many on Saturday with sunny spells in eastern areas".