Two status yellow rainfall warnings have been issued for much of the country as the fine weather breaks.

Thundery downpours may bring up to 40mm of rainfall to all of Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal and Waterford.

The warning came into effect at 9pm tonight and will be in place until 9am tomorrow.

A similar warning for Connacht, Cork, Limerick and Tipperary is in place until 6am tomorrow.

Motorists are advised to take care when driving in wet conditions, with the Road Safety Authority urging people to watch out for flash flooding and the risk of aquaplaning.

Following the recent dry weather a build-up of oil and rubber deposit may have developed on the roads.

After a long spell of dry weather these deposits may mix with rainwater and the road becomes hazardous.

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The resulting greasy road surface increases stopping distances and the risk of a skid. The advice is to slow down and increase braking distance.

The rainfall will be welcomed by farmers who have endured greatly reduced grass growth rates for much of the summer.

However a status yellow drought warning also remains in place for Munster and Leinster.

The warning, which was issued on Wednesday, said soil moisture deficits will remain in excess of 70mm in many parts of the two provinces.

Met Éireann is due to update on moisture deficit levels next Wednesday, 1 August.

Meanwhile Irish Water has said confirmed that the nationwide hosepipe ban introduced earlier this month will remain in place until the end of August.

The ban was due to be lifted at midnight on Tuesday 31 July.