Ireland is on storm alert as monster rain and strong winds prepare to batter the country just days afta Mediterranean heatwave.

Heavy rainfall is expected across the country over the next 24 hours with widespread local flooding in many areas.

Ireland’s national weather service Met Eireann has warned that heavy rain on Thursday morning will become widespread throughout the day.

Areas of Connaught and Munster are particularly susceptible to flooding.

Report say strong to gale force, east to northeast winds will steadily back northeast to north, but winds will ease for a time later in south eastern counties.

“There will be rain for the next two days, heavy and persistent, right across the country,” forecaster Sandra Spillane said.

“It will come into the south- west and into Munster first, then into Leinster and parts of Connacht.

There’s warnings of 40-60mm of rain falling in 24 hours in Munster and Connacht on Thursday, and a risk of another 20-30mm on Friday.

“The east coast will be a little bit better, but there’s still warnings with 30-50mm of rain possible on Thursday, and another 20-30mm on Friday.

“The winds will be high, it will be cold too with temperatures between 12C and 15C. There will be localised flooding, visibility will be poor on the roads and there will be persistent rain in most areas.”

Road Safety Authority chief executive Noel Brett warned motorists of dangerous conditions.

He said: “After prolonged periods of dry weather there tends to be a build-up of oil and rubber deposit on the road,” he said. “When this deposit mixes with rainwater it increases the risk of a skid and increases your stopping distance.”

People on the Ha'Penny bridge in Dublin struggle with their umbrellas in heavy rainSam Boal c/a JOURNAL.IE