Italy braces for storms, high winds

Civil Protection Dept issues alert

(ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - Italy is bracing for heavy storms, strong winds and rain over the weekend with snowfall of up to one metre expected in the Alps. The Civil Protection Department has issued an alert, warning that a low-pressure area is set to bring heavy rainfall from Thursday to central and southern regions, involving thunder and lightning and strong winds.
    The bad weather is expected to hit Lazio first and then spread to southern regions including Basilicata and Calabria. It is then set to intensify across the country at the weekend.
    "Italy is the target of several low-pressure areas in the coming days, the first one is about to hit us and will bring rain and sparse storms in the Centre and South, especially in the Tyrrhenian regions, and some storms in the North," said Meteorologist Edoardo Ferrara from
    "But eyes are focused above all on the weekend, when we face a second and more intense low-pressure area which will cause bad weather above all in the North and Centre," he said.
    The Mediterranean cyclone due to arrive at the weekend is set to cause winds of up to 100 km/h, as well as snowfall in Alpine regions. On Saturday, rain and storms are likely to focus on northern regions - Tuscany, Umbria, Sardinia and Liguria. Then on Sunday it will intensify and also affect the central and southern regions.
    Flooding is possible in regions where particularly high rainfall is expected, such as Piedmont and Friuli Venezia Giulia.
    Meanwhile, parts of the Alps are set for strong snow showers on both Saturday and Sunday, said Ferrara.