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Met Éireann warns of heavy rain today as thousands travel home for Christmas

No white Christmas for Ireland this year as wet weather to dominate over the coming days

Met Éireann has warned that heavy rain will extend countrywide from the southwest today reaching the north coast by early afternoon, with the potential for spot flooding and pools of surface water.

The rain will persist across Ulster well into the evening hours, while a clearance will gradually develop across the rest of the country bringing sunny spells and a few showers.

Highest temperatures will range between 5C and 11C, north to south across the country. Moderate to fresh easterly winds will veer southwest in the clearance.

Christmas Eve will bring some sunny spells, however, showers in the west during the morning will become more widespread in the afternoon and some will be heavy.

Highest temperatures will range between 6C and 10C and it will be rather breezy and blustery in moderate to fresh southerly winds.

Christmas morning on Sunday will be dry and bright for many eastern and southern areas but showery outbreaks of rain will move into the west and north.

This rain will gradually make its way southeastwards across the country through the afternoon and evening.

Colder and clearer conditions will follow to the west and north with some showers feeding into northern coastal areas later, possibly of hail or sleet.

Highest temperatures will range between 6C and 10C early in the day in a light to moderate southerly breeze, turning round to the northwest and freshening later.

It will be cold on Christmas night with clear spells and a few showers, affecting northern coastal counties mainly with some turning wintry.

Lowest temperatures will range between -2C and 2C with some frost forming, in moderate west to northwest winds, stronger along the north coast.

St Stephen's Day will be a cold and brighter day with sunny spells and scattered showers, mainly in western and northern coastal counties.

These showers may turn to sleet in some spots with some hail and hill snow possible over Ulster and highest temperatures between 3C and 7C.

Meanwhile, motorists have been warned of debris on the M50 as many people travel home for Christmas today.

Traffic Infrastructure Ireland advised motorists to take care following reports of debris northbound between Junction 6 Blanchardstown and Junction 4 Ballymun.

A Status Yellow fog warning expired for many parts of the country this morning.

The national forecaster had warned of poor visibility and treacherous conditions with dense fog in parts overnight for 22 counties. Motorists had been advised to exercise caution.

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