Violent storms hit France, with winds of 113 km/h recorded

After an unseasonably warm weekend - with temperatures getting up to 32C in some parts of France - the western half of the country is set to be battered by storms.

Violent storms hit France, with winds of 113 km/h recorded
Lightning over Bordeaux. Illustration photo: AFP

A total of 46 départements are on orange alert – the second highest alert – for violent storms which hit southern France this afternoon and are moving north.

Winds of 113 km/h have been recorded in Mayenne this afternoon, with 93 km/h gusts in Landes and Maine et Loire, while Nantes received 16mm of rain in just one hour.

French weather forecaster Météo France has issued the warning starting at 2pm on Monday for heavy rain, strong winds and electrical storms.

Map: Météo France

The weather forecaster stated: “In the afternoon on Monday, an active storm will enter Aquitaine and spread north east to gradually affect the Charentes, Poitou, western Limousin, central and southern Pays-de-la-Loire, and finally to Ile de France and the Hauts de France in the evening.

At the same time in the southern part the storms will spread to the shores of the Mediterranean in the middle of the night.
“High rainfall intensities are expected over a short period of time, between 20 and 30 mm, hail and strong gusts of wind, up to 110 km/h locally.
“This will continue in the evening and the following night towards the départments further east.”
The départements covered by the warning are: “Charente, Charente-Maritime, Cher, Dordogne, Eure-et-Loir, Gironde, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Landes, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Maine-et-Loire, Orne, Sarthe, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Aisne, Aveyron, Bouches-du-Rhône, Corrèze, Eure, Gard, Hérault, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Nord, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, Paris et petite couronne, Seine-Maritime, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Somme (80), Tarn (81), Tarn-et-Garonne (82), Vaucluse, Essonne, Val-d'Oise, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Ardèche, Drôme and Var. 

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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.