Householders are being urged to batten down the hatches as 140km/hr gusts and high seas are expected to batter the north and west coasts.
Forecasters have issued a severe weather warning over a storm coming in off the Atlantic while road safety campaigners have cautioned motorists about conditions.
Met Eireann's John Eagleton said electricity poles and trees could come down in some areas while some structural damage could be expected to homes and other buildings.
"Basically the west and the north will be worst affected," he said.
"Donegal is really going to bear the worst of it. It will be windy everywhere but particularly so up there."
Mr Eagleton said parts of Derry, Leitrim and Sligo will also be hit as the centre of the storm passes over the north coast towards Scotland.
The conditions are expected to last most of the afternoon, evening and into the night with westerly gale force winds of up to 120km/hr and gusts of up to 140km/hr.
High seas along the Atlantic coasts are also threatening floods in low lying areas.
Winds are expected to ease overnight and into Friday morning.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) called on all road users to take extra care during the stormy conditions and watch out for falling and fallen debris and objects being blown about.