Storm Gabriel: Snow and wind alerts across France

Drivers are warned to be careful as snow and high winds hit the country today

Forecaster Météo France has placed 41 departments on orange alert, with Storm Gabriel set to bring snow and ice across much of the north and centre of France, and winds of up to 130 kph in the west.

There are also avalanche warnings in the Pyrenees, especially for altitudes above 1,700m.

The full list of departments on orange alert - the second-most severe level - is:

Aisne, Ardennes, Ariège, Aube, Aveyron, Cantal, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Cher, Corrèze, Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Gironde, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Landes, Loir-et-Cher, Loire-Atlantique, Loiret, Marne, Mayenne, Nord, Oise, Orne, Pas-de-Calais, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Sarthe, Paris and surroundings, Seine-Maritime, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Deux-Sèvres, Somme, Vendée, Vienne, Yonne, Essonne, Val-d'Oise.

Winds may reach up to 130 kph on exposed coastlines, and up to 100-110 kph inland. Speeds will begin to pick up at around 16h, with the strongest winds expected between 18h and 21h.

Météo France warns that electricity and phone lines may be at risk of damage.

There may be between 5-15cm of snowfall in some areas, the forecaster said.

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Drivers are warned to be careful on the roads, and limit journeys only to those that are completely necessary. Drivers are also warned to prepare supplies in case they become stuck - such as taking food, water, a spade, and a blanket.

Roads may become blocked, with the RN 118 into Paris expected to be closed from 22h tonight (Tuesday January 29). Heavy goods vehicles will be barred from circulation from 21h in Ile-de-France.

Residents are reminded to tidy or secure outside objects that may be damaged or blown away in high winds.

Skiers or anyone in the mountain areas are also warned to keep to designated paths and to pay attention to local alerts and signs.

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