Motorists are advised to take extreme caution on the roads with heavy rainfall predicted for the next few days. 

A further 15 to 25mm of rain is likely over Munster and Leinster, with the heaviest rainfall expected on high ground. 

A gale warning is in place with winds expected to reach gale force at times on coastal waters from Howth Head to Hook Head to Roches Point as well as on the Irish Sea south of the Isle of Man.

Westmeath County Council have warned that water levels in the River Shannon have risen by more than 8cm in the last three days.

In a statement, the council warned that levels around the greater Athlone area may rise by a further 10cm by Wednesday 30 December.

Meanwhile the ESB has increased the volume of water being released through Parteen Weir due to rising water levels in Lough Derg as a result of recent rainy conditions. 

In a statement today Clare County Council and Limerick City and County Council said they had received confirmation from the ESB of the increase in water flow to 370 cumecs (cubic metres per second) through Parteen Weir 

The situation will be reviewed again tomorrow.

Meanwhile in the UK hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes and thousands are without power after widespread flooding in the northwest, with more rain forecast.

Lancashire and Yorkshire have been hit by downpours, with people in a number of towns and villages forced to leave their homes after being stranded by rising waters.

As of 4.20pm on Saturday the Environment Agency had issued 20 severe flood warnings - which signal "danger to life", while there were 225 flood warnings, meaning that immediate action is required.

The Met Office also issued two of its most serious red weather warnings - danger to life - for the area.

Soldiers have been called in to help with the flood relief efforts.