France’s national weather service issued an orange alert--the second most serious warning--on Friday for 11 departments in the west of the country on account of a set of violent storms that are expected to hit by the end of the day.
Forecasters from Météo-France expect heavy rains (up to 60 mm or 2.4 inches in an hour) gusting winds up 90 km/h (55 mph) and period of intense hail. Initial reports said 11 departments were under warning, but the alert was expanded to 16 as more information flowed in to forecasters.
The nasty weather is expected to hit the western side of France first and will then gradually spread to the rest of the country over the weekend.
The rain will also mean an end to the brief heatwave that has been baking France for the past couple days. Forecasters are expecting temperatures to drop to around 22 °C (72°F).
According to Météo-France the nasty weather is being carried to France on a mass of hot air blowing in from the tropics that is going to prompt instability in the local weather.