Half of Ireland is to be hit with heavy floods for the rest of the week after weather forecasters issued a rain warning.

National weather service Met Eireann has warned of flash flooding across the country with the heaviest rain in Munster and Leinster.

Forecaster Vincent O’Shea told the Irish Independent: “We have warnings for much of Munster and Leinster, with rainfall to reach up to 33mm over the next 24 hour period, taking its way through to Wednesday morning.

“There is some very heavy rain forming in places this morning. It’s bad enough in Dublin, but it’s much worse in South Munster - in places like Waterford and Cork areas.

“We are expecting this wet spell to continue right through to the end of Thursday. Expect overcast and a lot more rain to come.”

Motorists have been warned to prepare for bad road conditions in the coming days.

O’Shea added: “We’re managing the situation and there could be spot flooding in the South East.

“At this stage, the type of flooding we would expect might be a bit of a hazard for motorists, big pools of water on the road etc.

“Bodies like the AA and ESB have received warnings up to 30mm rainfall.”

The rain is expected to ease by the weekend. Forecaster O’Shea said: “Things might improve for the weekend,” he added.

“It might not be entirely dry from Friday onwards, buy the rain should be small.”