London - A winter storm is heading towards Europe, threatening widespread disruption on Wednesday night, 17 January and Thursday, 18 January.
The region is already facing an onslaught from brisk winds and squally showers, with thunder snow likely across the British Isles.
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The conditions are expected to go further downhill on Wednesday night as a weather system rapidly intensifies as it hurtles across the Atlantic.
The storm is expected to develop so quickly that it will undergo what is known as "explosive cyclogenesis", turning the area of low pressure into a weather bomb, triggering extremely strong winds, torrential rain and heavy snow.
Once developed, the storm will be named as Fionn.
The UK Met Office is warning of the risk of power cuts, with the possible closure of some bridges and cancellations of road, rail and ferry services.
It cautions that injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible, along with some damage to buildings. Large waves are expected to affect some western coasts with beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.
The winds across the UK are likely to be gusting to 130km/h in some places, with up to 20 centimetres of snow over high ground.
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This amount of snow could cause vehicles and passengers to become stranded, and cut off some rural communities.
The wind is then expected to strengthen as it crosses the North Sea, with parts of the Netherlands and northern Germany seeing the strongest of the winds.
Sustained winds of up to 90 km/h are possible, with far stronger gusts expected.
This could cause major damage, uprooting trees and ripping down powerlines, as well as the possibility of ripping roofs from homes.
All those with interests in the area are urged to keep a close eye on the forecast.
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