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    Stormy Christmas for Spain, France and Northern Italy

    By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
    December 24, 2013, 5:21:30 AM EST

    A powerful storm system will deliver a soaking rain and gusty winds to a large portion of western Europe through Christmas Day.

    The storm arrived on Monday with a blast of howling winds and downpours across Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France.

    Wind gusts over 50 mph could down tree limbs and result in widespread power outages.


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    The low pressure of the storm is forecast to be equivalent to a category 4 hurricane. It is not out of the question that there will be hurricane force winds with this storm across parts of the U.K., especially Scotland and Ireland. The worst of the storm will shift farther south and east Tuesday with locally heavy rainfall from Spain and Portugal through much of France and into Belgium and the Netherlands.

    Wind gusts over 40 mph will be possible across these same areas as a cold front pushes south and east.

    As travel increases leading up to Christmas Day, major cities including Madrid, Paris, London and Amsterdam will be impacted. This could lead to delays when traveling by ground or air.

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    This storm system will continue its grip on a large portion of western Europe through Christmas Day.

    People will wake up on the holiday to a chilly rain from eastern Spain through southern and eastern France and into northern Italy.

    Along with the rain, a gusty wind will make it feel even colder across the entire region.

    While the bulk of the precipitation will fall as rain, locations in the Alps can expect a fresh snow just in time for the holiday.

    AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Dave Samuhel contributed to the content of this story.

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