Winter is coming: Temperatures in France to plummet this weekend as Arctic blast sweeps in

France might have been enjoying an unusually warm autumn so far but all that is set to change this weekend, with the possibility of snow at low altitudes and temperatures plummeting across the whole of the country due to an icy blast from the Arctic.

Winter is coming: Temperatures in France to plummet this weekend as Arctic blast sweeps in
Photo: AFP
It might seem like only yesterday that you were basking in the warm glow of France's Indian summer but all that is about to change. 
On Friday, rain will come pouring down and temperatures will plummet across France, according to national weather agency Meteo France
Temperatures are expected to drop 3C to 7C below the seasonal norm and will be comparable to those of November or December.
Weather forecast for Saturday afternoon. Photo: Meteo France
In Paris on Friday the mercury is set to drop to a chilly 11C and there will be rain.
On Saturday the mercury will stay between 5C and 12C, with rain and cloud predicted across the entire eastern half of the country.
Weather forecast for early hours of Sunday morning. Photo: Meteo France
And on Sunday, the temperatures will remain low, with frost set to hit the Massif Central right up to the north east.

Rain is expected all over France and the drop in temperature could see the return of snow at low altitudes as well as in the Pyrenees and the Alps.
Snow could also hit the departments of Cantal and Puy-de-Dôme, according to the national weather agency. 

So, why are temperatures set to drop so sharply?
The frosty temperatures expected to hit France this weekend are all down to a blast of icy air from the sea around the Arctic. 
“From Friday, a cold air mass of maritime polar origin will flow through the Channel and hit the whole country during the day on Saturday.
“Temperatures will drop dramatically, with rain and even snow at low altitudes on all mountain ranges on Sunday,” said Meteo France. 

But there's no need to panic, this cold, wet episode is not expected to last, with the mercury set to go up slightly next week.

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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.