reparations are being put in place across Ireland ahead of Storm Eunice, which is forecast to be a “high-impact, multi-hazard weather event”.
Schools in nine counties in the Republic of Ireland will be closed on Friday after Met Eireann issued a red wind warning for Cork, Kerry, Clare and Waterford.
Clare and Waterford were added to the Status Red warning on Thursday afternoon, as the country braced for dangerous conditions through Thursday night and into Friday.
Gardai have urged the public to heed warnings for their local areas.
Those living in the worst-affected areas have been advised to remain indoors for the duration of the storm, expected to be from just after midnight on Friday.
An orange snow warning has also been issued for several counties in the north and west, including Donegal, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon.
The storm is expected to be powerful but relatively short, zipping across the Ireland overnight, and is expected to leave a trail of destruction including fallen trees, power outages and coastal flooding.
Bus Eireann said on Thursday evening that services will not operate during the red warning.
Irish Rail will operate provided there is no damage to tracks, but with speed restrictions in place at certain points.
Ireland’s National Emergency Co-ordination Group met at noon on Thursday to finalise planning.
Chairman Keith Leonard said the panel expects a “high-impact, multi-hazard weather event”.
Tommy Ryan from the County and City Management Association said crews are on standby, as well as Civil Defence if necessary.
“Each local authority is scaling the response at an appropriate level depending on the level of warning, whether it is red, orange or yellow,” he said.
“The local government sector is prepared and ready to respond.”
The Irish Coast Guard has appealed to fishermen and mariners to be “mindful” of the dangerous conditions, with walkers and sightseers also urged to avoid seafronts and cliff edges.
Coast Guard operations manager Micheal O’Toole called on people to remain “vigilant”.
The Met Eireann storm warning for Kerry, Cork and Clare comes into effect at 3am on Friday and will remain in place until 8am.
The alert for Waterford begins at 7am on Friday and will stay in place until 11am.
“Storm Eunice will track quickly over Ireland tonight and Friday morning, bringing severe and damaging winds,” said the national forecaster.
“South-west winds veering north-west will reach mean speeds in excess of 80kph, with gusts in excess of 130kph. Some coastal flooding, especially at high tide.”
An orange storm warning has been issued for counties Clare, Galway, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Laois, Offaly and Dublin, from 3am to 11am.
An orange snow warning has been issued for Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo and Roscommon, from 3am to 3pm.
“Storm Eunice will bring heavy sleet and snow, leading to blizzard-like conditions in parts, with treacherous driving conditions,” said Met Eireann.
A yellow wind, rain and snow warning covers the rest of the country from the early hours of Friday to 3pm.
In Northern Ireland, a yellow wind and snow warning has been issued by the Met Office for 3am to 6pm on Friday.
“Storm Eunice may cause disruption due to heavy snow and some strong winds on Friday,” said the UK forecaster.
The warnings were issued during a slight lull in conditions after Storm Dudley swept across the island on Wednesday.