Violent storms set to hit swathes of northern and western France

Swathes of France are set to be hit by violent storms on Monday with all of the north and parts of the west placed on alert. Paris and the surrounding area will also see extreme weather.

Violent storms set to hit swathes of northern and western France
Illustration photo: Thomas Bresson/Flickr

Thunderstorms are expected across much of the country on Monday, some of which could be accompanied by hail and strong winds and downpours, France's national weather agency Meteo France has said. 

Weather forecasters are predicting there could be between 40mm and 50mm of rainfall in just an hour in certain areas.

In total, 32 departments have been placed on orange alert — the second highest warning — for storms, meaning people in those areas should remain very vigilant in case of dangerous conditions. 

Northern France will be most affected however the national weather agency has warned that the storms could be strongest in the Pay de la Loire department in western France.

In Paris, the storms are set to hit in the afternoon. 

The alerts will remain in place until 6 am on Tuesday morning, with some areas expected to be hit before 2 pm while the majority of the country will be hit by storms from 2 pm onwards. 

Map: Meteo France

Originally just four departments had been placed on alert in western France: Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Charente and Charente-Maritime however the warnings were extended on Monday morning. 

Météo France warned that there would be a “storm situation requiring particular vigilance” with “rainy storms for short periods”.

On Saturday, heavy hail storms hit the west of the country and caused the death of a 6-year-old in Mayenne, as well as extensive damage to vineyards in Bordeaux.


'Unprecedented' hailstorm destroys Bordeaux vineyardsPhoto: AFP

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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.