The south central departments of Herault and Aude were placed on orange alert – the second highest warning – at around 6am on Thursday morning by national weather agency Meteo France.
The orange alert for violent storms means the public are advised to be “very vigilant” especially when out and about and people are advised to take shelter when the storm is approaching.
The weather agency has called this the “first significant episode of the season”, warning of the risk of “strong thunderstorms and sustained rainfall”.
Map: Meteo France
The areas set to be impacted the most are the east of the Aude and a the western half of the Hérault.
Since Wednesday afternoon the hills to the north of Herault have been lashed by “often continuous and sometimes strong rain” says Météo France.
The agency warns that during Thursday there will be more rain on these hills which could be accompanied by lightning, strong wind and hail.