Snow forecast to hit much of France this week

It will begin to look a lot like Christmas in France this week with a large part of the country, including Paris, expected to get its first dusting of snow from Wednesday onwards.

Snow forecast to hit much of France this week
File photo: Strasbourg in the snow/AFP
It might be time to dig out your snow shovel. 
The mountains have already had their fair share of snow but between Wednesday and Saturday it is expected to fall on lower ground around the country.
Coinciding with the official start of winter on December 1st, the snowfall is expected to start in the east of the country, with a moderate chance it will spread west.
By Friday morning Paris could find itself under a white blanket with snow showers forecast in the early hours. However it is unlikely to hang around for long with temperatures to rise above 0C throughout the day, so if Paris does get some snow, it will likely melt away.

The map below by Keraunos, the French tornadoes and violent storms observatory, shows the amount of cumulative snow expected.
France's national weather agency Météo France is also confident of widespread snowfall.
Weather on Wednesday afternoon. Map: Météo France
If the forecast is correct snow will hit all the way from Hauts-de-France in the north east to Nouvelle Aquitaine in the south east.  
Temperatures however are not expected to drop far below zero.  
Overnight on Wednesday, the snow is likely to spread towards the Massif Central.
Weather on Thursday afternoon. Map: Météo France
And from Thursday night and throughout Friday the snow is expected to be at its peak. 
Weather on Friday afternoon. Map: Météo France
Next weekend, more snow showers are expected to continue across much of the eastern part of the country.


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.