Ireland is set to feel the effects of the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia as it moves eastward over the Atlantic and is set to pass close to the country on Monday.

Head of forecasting at Met Éireann Gerald Fleming said it looked likely that the effects of Ophelia will be felt most strongly in the southwest counties of Cork and Kerry.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Fleming said if the current track of the hurricane continues, it looks like it will pass over the country fairly quickly on Monday and may bring heavy rains.

The hurricane is moving eastward over the mid-Atlantic as a category two storm packing winds gusting at up to 165km/h en route for the Azores.

The US-based National Hurricane Center said that Ophelia is expected to transition to a hurricane-force post tropical cyclone as it moves near Ireland.

A handout photo by the European Space Agency shows hurricane Ophelia on 11 October, about 1,300km southwest of the Azores islands

Met Éireann has issued a status Yellow weather warning and said storm-force winds, outbreaks of heavy rain, and very high seas are threatened from the approaching weather system.

However in a statement, Met Éireann said that it is not possible to quantify the exact timing, nor the strength of intensity of the wind and rain, until later in the weekend.

It said: "Ophelia won't be a hurricane in meteorological terms when it reaches our part of the world as she will have moved over the cooler waters of the mid-Atlantic and undergone what is known as extra-tropical transition.

"So while there could be the threat of wind gusts reaching hurricane force or indeed heavy rainfall with this system, it means the traditional attributes of a hurricane - such as an eye or an eye-wall containing a core of hurricane force winds - are very unlikely to be present."

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AA Ireland is advising motorists to prepare for hazardous driving conditions.

"Whether Ireland feels the full force of Ophelia or not it's important for motorists to prepare themselves for the worst. Stormy conditions are a real danger as not only do gale force winds make maintaining control of the vehicle more difficult, but heavy rainfall can also greatly increase your stopping distance," Conor Faughnan, AA director of consumer affairs warned.

"This kind of weather can also really impact on a driver's visibility so it's important to drive with extra caution and be on the lookout for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians who opt to brave the stormy conditions."