Hail, high winds and downpours put swathes of France on alert

Storm warnings were in place for much of France on Wednesday as the recent extreme weather continues to lash the country, bringing with it hail, high winds and downpours.

Hail, high winds and downpours put swathes of France on alert

Some 39 departments from the south west through central France to the north east of the country were on storm alert on Wednesday with more extreme weather set to batter the country throughout the afternoon and evening.

Orange alerts – the second highest warning level – were in place with the public told to expect hail, high winds and downpours.


The public in those areas with weather warnings in place are advised to avoid unnecessary travel during storms and to take shelter. They are also advised to stay away from rivers as there may be a risk of flash floods.

Between 40mm and 60mm of rain is expected to fall in less than an hour in local areas.

The storms are forecast to begin in the south west and head north throughout Wednesday.

The weather warnings are set to remain in place until Thursday morning.

France has been lashed by storms in recent days which have even seen the Eiffel Tower struck by lightning.

On Tuesday night torrential downpours in Paris left parts of the Metro system flooded. On Wednesday morning Line 1 between Nation and Vincennes remained suspended.

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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.