Weekend weather: Wintry blast to bring icy temperatures back to France

Winter is coming (back) as icy temperatures get set to return to France once again this weekend.

Weekend weather: Wintry blast to bring icy temperatures back to France
Illustration photo: AFP

It's time to bring out your coats, scarves and gloves as a wintry blast coupled with a biting wind are preparing to hit most of France from Friday and stay for the whole weekend. 

Unsurprisingly mornings will be particularly chilly. 

Temperatures at the beginning of the day are expected to be below 0C in the north west region of Normandy, central France and across the whole of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and the Grand Est regions.

Any gardeners out there will need to be particularly vigilant, with significant frost set to spread to cover most of the north of France while temperatures will range between -2C and 0C. 

However in the Massif Central area of southern France and parts of north east the mercury could dip as low as -4C. 

Sunday morning is predicted to be the coldest, with lows of -4C in Normandy, -5C in east central France and an icy -6C in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. 

In the afternoons, maximum temperatures will remain on average below 5C across France except in the Mediterranean where the mercury is predicted to hit 20C.

The tumbling temperatures are apparently the result of an anticyclone bringing cold weather from Siberia and forecasters believe the wintry blast could damage vineyards which are expected to lose some of their crops.

However, while it might feel unseasonably cold, these temperatures are not particularly unusual for this time of year, say meteorologists. 

And it isn't all bad news – the cold blast will be accompanied by bright sunshine across most of the country, with just part of the south east potentially experiencing stormy showers. 

French vocab for weather 

hivernal – winter/wintry

glacial – freezing/cold 

gelé – frozen/freezing



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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.