Icy blast heads for France as temperatures tumble

An icy blast is heading for France as temperatures drop sharply this week, with the addition of strong winds.

Icy blast heads for France as temperatures tumble
There will be heavy snowfall above 1,000 metres altitude. Photo: AFP

It's time for big coats, fondue and winter-weight duvets as the temperatures drop sharply in France this week and winter truly begins.

A large low pressure weather system is set to bring a lot of rain, wind and – at medium altitude heights or above – heavy snowfall.

READ ALSO The 10 heartiest French dishes to get you through winter – with recipes


Throughout the week, minimum temperatures will range from -2 to 7C in northern and central France, and 10C near the Mediterranean, said French weather forecaster France Météo.

In the afternoon, the maximum temperature will range from 5 to 8C in the east, from 9 to 11C towards the Atlantic and 12 to 13C around the Mediterranean. 

The temperatures are largely to be expected in winter, although they will be 2C to 5C below the seasonal average and colder than the January averages for France.

From Thursday onwards a deep depression will bring wilder weather – heavy rain, strong winds, storm and heavy snowfalls on higher ground, especially in the east of the country.


Stormy winds will hit both the Atlantic and Mediterranean costs and large amounts of snow will fall in the Alps and Pyrenees.


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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.