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UK: Storm Eva set to disrupt holiday travel on Christmas Eve

Storm Eva, the fifth named storm of the season by the Met Office, will arrive on Wednesday night and will impact holiday travel into Christmas Eve.

The U.K. will be in between storm systems during the day on Wednesday. There will still be a gusty wind, especially across the north, but damaging winds are not expected. Scattered showers will continue to dampen western areas.

Those in the southeast of England, including London, who are able to get an early start to their Christmas holiday should take advantage of the calmer weather on Wednesday to travel. The lull in the storminess will not last long as Storm Eva brings strong winds and rain the British Isles Wednesday night and Thursday.

"Winds will increase Wednesday evening across Northern Ireland, spreading to Scotland, Wales and northern England," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer said.

Strong winds will spread to the rest of England on Christmas Eve, while remaining gusty in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The winds can lead to tree damage and power cuts. Loose Christmas decorations can easily be tossed and damaged.

Flight delays are possible, while drivers of high-sided vehicles will face dangerous crosswinds. Train service could also be impacted during the worst of the storm.

The greatest concern for tree damage and power cuts will be in Northern Ireland and Scotland, along with the exposed and coastal areas of Wales and northern England. Wind gusts of 50-60 mph (80-95 km/h) will be common in these areas.

There can even be isolated gusts to 75 mph (120 km/h) in the wind-prone areas of Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Across the rest of Wales and England, peak wind gusts of 40-50 mph (65-80 km/h) are expected on Thursday.

Rain will gradually shift from northwest to southeast across the U.K. with this storm. Flooding will be a concern in parts of Wales and northwestern England, as rivers continue to run high following rainfall earlier in the week.

Those traveling to their Christmas destinations should be on alert for slippery roads, reduced visibility and the risk of hydroplaning.

The steadiest rain and strongest winds will move out of Scotland and Northern Ireland for Thursday, leading to some improvement for travelers. There will still be a gusty wind and showers, which will occur as snow and lead to slick roads in the highest elevations of the Highlands.

"By Thursday afternoon, there will be some lingering showers across the British Isles, but the steadiest rain will be departing from eastern England," Spamer said.

The late afternoon and evening hours of Thursday will be better for travelers around London than the morning.

Christmas Day will remain wet in the southern Isles as a warm front moving to the north brings spells of rain across Wales and southern England. While it will not be as windy as previous days, some gusty winds are still expected in Wales and southern England.

The only chance for snow on Christmas will be across the Highlands of Scotland where some wintry showers are expected.

An end to the stormy weather pattern will not come with Christmas.

Rain will fall across Wales, northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland with the threat for flooding in northwest England on Saturday.

A series of potent storms may also whip the United Kingdom early next week.

Content contributed by AccuWeather meteorologists Kristina Pydynowski and Adam Douty.