France travel chaos ends but icy spell to continue

After heavy snow caused no end of chaos at the weekend, here's a look at the latest travel and weather news for the French Alps and the rest of the country, including avalanche warnings for skiers.

France travel chaos ends but icy spell to continue
Avalanche warnings replace travel alerts. Here's the latest news on the weather and travel in France. Photo: jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP

LATEST weather/travel news: 

  • The weekend’s heavy snowfall has brought the threat of avalanches. One off-piste skier died on Sunday after being buried in a torrent of snow at the resort of Auron, in the southern French Alps.
  • Authorities in Savoie have raised the avalanche warnings in the region to levels three or four (out of five) mainly due to the high winds at altitude added to the recent heavy snow falls. “Skiers are advised to consult the security and safety information in each resort,” read a statement from the prefecture of Savoie. In the neighbouring department of Haute-Savoie, authorities are warning of a high risk of avalanches above 1,800 metres altitude. Off-piste skiers are particularly at risk.
  • Traffic in the Savoie region of south-eastern France is returning to normal after some 15,000 drivers were stranded overnight into Sunday on the roads leading the ski resorts of the French Alps.
  • France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has announced his government won’t introduce obligatory safety equipment for drivers in snow-hit regions but has advised they take the necessary precautions.
  • The 50 British holidaymakers trapped for two days in a French gymnasium in the Alps due to the heavy snow have finally been allowed to hit the slopes of Val Thorens and Val d'Isère.
  • Chains on car tyres remain mandatory at the resorts of Val Thorens and Les 2000 Arcs.
  • Although not much snowfall is expected on Monday, temperatures across France will stay below freezing for the most part, and in some northern and eastern parts of the country the mercury will hit minus 10 degrees.
  • Some snow could fall on Monday in Alsace, Bourgogne, Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes.
  • Cold, dry south-westerly winds of up to 110km/h are expected to sweep across the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean regions of France.
  • Tuesday will be drier but just as cold, Meteo France has reported. 

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