April snow puts parts of northern France on alert

The winter continues to bite back in northern France with three departments placed on alert for snow on Friday.

April snow puts parts of northern France on alert
File photo of cars stuck in the snow storm that hit France in the middle of march. More snow is due in Normandy on Friday. Photo: AFP

The clocks may have already gone forward but winter weather returned to parts of Normandy overnight forcing the country’s weather service to put the departments of Calvados, l'Orne and l'Eure on “orange” alert – the second highest level of warning.

The winter of 2012/13 has gone down as one of the harshest to hit France in recent memory after breaking several records.

Meteo France revealed earlier this month that several towns in northern and western France recorded their coldest start to spring since records began. Throughout March the average temperature across the north of France was 1.5 degrees colder than normal.

Residents of Normandy will be relieved to hear however that the snow falls forecast will be “nothing compared to” the winter storm that brought the region to a standstill in the middle of March.

Around 15 cm of snow is expected this time around far less than the metre high drifts that resulted in hundreds of motorists getting stranded in their cars and power cuts to thousands of homes.

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South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.