Thousands of Christmas travelers face more chaos as a second major storm prepares to arrive on Irish shores and snow hits high ground.

Ireland’s weather service Met Eireann has issued another ‘vigorous’ storm warning after heavy winds and driving rain hit the country over the weekend.

Airlines and ferry companies have warned of delays in the busy run-up to Christmas day while homes could also be left without electricity as the storm gathers pace.

The Irish Independent says that another major storm will hit Ireland on Monday evening with Met Eireann issuing an Orange weather alert for parts of the country on Christmas Eve.

More than 12,000 homes, mostly in Galway and Cork, lost power on Sunday due to high winds and lightning strikes.

Met Eireann forecaster Jean Byrne told the paper that Christmas Day will be the calmest day of the week except for the north-west where wintry showers are expected.

She said: “Tonight and overnight into Christmas Eve will see gale-force south-westerly winds battering the country at a time when thousands of people are on the move.”

An Orange wind warning has been put into place for Connacht, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Cork, Kerry and Limerick.

A Yellow warning is in place for Leinster, Tipperary and Waterford.

Byrne warned there will be little respite after Christmas as a new storm develops in the Atlantic which is expected to hit Ireland on St Stephen’s Day.

Irish Weather Online spokesman Peter O’Donnell warned Monday’s storm could be as bad as or even worse than last Wednesday’s weather which escalated into the most serious category of Red Alert according to the report.

O’Donnell said: “Basically the chances seem about 50-50 in terms of minor damage or more substantial damage potential.”