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.