Spring is in the air: France set for warmest day of year so far

After a winter that brought severe floods and heavy snow to large swathes of the country, France finally welcomes spring on Friday, when the country will enjoy the warmest day of the year so far.

Spring is in the air: France set for warmest day of year so far
Map: Meteo France
France will enjoy its warmest day of the year on Friday with the mercury reaching levels more akin to mid May than early April.
Temperatures are set to double within 24 hours in some parts of the country which means spring is finally here. 
On Friday, the sun is set to shine almost everywhere in France and in many places temperatures are expected to be above the average temperatures of the season, according to France's national weather agency Meteo France
That means that in some places in France, the temperatures will double (or almost) in 24 hours. 
France weather map for Friday 2 pm – 5 pm. Meteo France
In Paris, temperatures will soar to highs of 20C on Friday afternoon. 
In Lille, for example, the mercury will shoot up to 17C on Friday afternoon after people in the northern city experienced a chilly 9C just a day earlier.
Elsewhere in the country, with the exception of the tip of Brittany and the shores of the Mediterranean, temperatures will rise by 5C to 8C degrees. 
France weather map for Friday 5 pm – 8 pm. Meteo France
On the French Riviera, the morning is set to be cloudy but the sun will break through in the afternoon.
However there will be some showers around the Garonne river in south west France and Toulouse and its surrounding area can also expect wind. 
And the really good news is that this time it looks like the higher temperatures are here to stay. 
The mercury is set to remain high across the country on Saturday, with highs of 19C in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France and 21C in the French Alps, although rain is expected to hit the western parts of France. 
Meanhile temperatures are expected to drop — but just slightly — in most of France with rain forecast for much of the west coast, central regions and the French Riviera. 


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.