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Fox News Weather Center

Late-weekend storm to threaten Italy with flooding, gusty winds

Italy is bracing for flooding rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and burying mountain snow during the second half of this weekend.

The wide range of adverse weather will result as the late-week storm slamming into the Iberian Peninsula swings eastward and further strengthens.

Flooding rain will threaten northern Italy with heavy snow in the Alps, thunderstorms will rattle central Italy and strong winds will whip the southern half of the country and produce dangerously rough seas.

What to do when driving in floodwaters

Flooding will threaten northern Italy as two rounds of heavy rain move through. The first bout of rain will reach northwestern Italy on Saturday afternoon before spreading eastward at night. Heavy rain will also develop across the islands of Corsica and northern Sardinia early in the weekend.

More drenching rain will follow Sunday into Sunday night. Some communities, especially in north-central and northeastern Italy, may not notice a break between the two rounds of rain.

"The rain will take until Monday to taper off," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer said. "However, the heaviest rain will fall by the end of Sunday night."

There will be widespread rainfall totals of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) with localized higher amounts, especially along the southern slopes of the Alps. This includes in Milan and Venice.

The danger of flooding in low-lying and urban areas, streams and rivers rising out of their banks and mudslides will increase as the rain continues to pour down.

Even in the absence of flooding, the heavy rain will still create slow travel with the hazards of reduced visibility and a heightened risk of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds. Airline passengers should prepare for possible delays.

Colder air in the Alps will allow the storm to unleash burying snow with widespread totals topping 60 cm (2 feet). The snow will be a boon for ski resorts, but travel will become extremely difficult, even impossible, for a time as gusty winds severely blow and drift the snow around.

South of the flood risk, thunderstorms will rattle central Italy later on Sunday. This includes Rome.

Some of the thunderstorms will become gusty, but all storms will produce lightning and force anyone with outdoor plans on Sunday to seek shelter for a time. Remember that as soon as thunder is heard, the danger of being struck by lightning is present.

Gusty winds will also whip central and southern Italy, as well as the open waters and coastal communities of the entire Adriatic Sea, on Sunday and Sunday night.

"There will be widespread gusts to 80 km/h (50 mph) with gusts to 105 km/h (65 mph) at coastal areas," Spamer said. The strongest winds can cause scattered power cuts and tree damage, as well as dangerous crosswinds and extremely rough seas. Moderate coastal flooding is a concern at high tide.

While the other adverse impacts wind down early next week, winds on the backside of the storm will strengthen from the Gulf of Lion to the waters south and west of Sardinia. Seas will become dangerously rough with the hazardous conditions spilling into the Tyrrhenian Sea.