Winds are picking up in strength as Storm Lorenzo hits the West coast, with the National Emergency Co-Ordination Group warning that the storm may pose a threat to life and safety in some parts of the country.

A status yellow wind warning is in place since this morning for the entire country, with a status yellow rainfall warning valid for Connacht, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

Met Eireann says spells of heavy rain at times today and tonight will result in some flooding.

Winds are set to peak between 6 and 7 o'clock this evening, and again from 3 and 5am tomorrow morning, with rainfall accumulations of between 20 and 60 millimetres expected.

An orange weather warning for counties Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry and Limerick has been extended from 6pm this evening to 6am tomorrow morning.

Mayo County Council has issued a level 3 alert, which means the flood emergency plan is now in operation, and arrangements are being put in place in areas of the county that may be at higher risk of flooding - including flood gates and sandbags.

Coastal areas - including Achill, Belmullet, Newport and Westport  - are at highest risk - particularly when the strongest winds coincide with high tides this evening, while there are also concerns about possible flooding in Crossmolina.

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