Storm force winds and massive waves off the Donegal coast will reach a peak later today as the first real storm of the winter lashes the north-west.

Power cuts have been reported in a number of areas, including Carndonagh, Glenties and Falcarragh, and trees are down on a number of roads.

Motorists and indeed pedestrians are advised not to take any unnecessary journeys and to take extra care on the roads.

Met Eireann has issued a wind warning for for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo and Clare.

It will be very windy and stormy today and tonight with westerly winds reaching mean speeds of 65 to 75 km/h and gusting to speeds of 110 to 130 km/h.

There will also be very high waves today and tonight will bring a risk of coastal flooding.

There will be heavy rain, with hail and sleet and with some snow showers over higher ground.

There may also be some short spells of sunshine.

It will be cold with highest temperatures of 4 to 7 degrees during the day dropping back to 0 to 3 degrees overnight.

Tomorrow, Thursday, with strong to gale force and gusty westerly winds, but the winds will ease through the day. There'll be further scattered heavy showers of rain, hail and sleet and with some of snow over higher ground. During the evening more persistent rain is likely to spread mainly into southern parts of the province, preceded by falls of snow, mainly over higher ground. Highest temperatures of 3 to 6 degrees.

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