France issues first snow warnings of season as wintry weather arrives

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France issues first snow warnings of season as wintry weather arrives

The south east of France was braced for some rough wintry weather on Thursday with snow, icy conditions and torrential rain and flooding set to hit the region. Residents have been advised to take precautions.


UPDATE: CLICK HERE to read the latest news on how heavy snow has caused widespread chaos in south-east France



The country's weather service Météo France placed 11 departments in the south east of the country on alert for either snow and ice or downpours that bring a risk of flooding.

The départéments of Saône-et-Loire, Rhône, Loire and Ardèche were placed on Orange alert - the second highest warning level - on Friday morning for snow and icy conditions. The départéments of Ain, Drôme and Isère were also placed on alert for the same wintery conditions on Wednesday evening. (see map below)

The winter weather warnings are due to remain in place until Friday morning. Météo France warns that the whole of the Rhône-Alpes region could see snowfall on Thursday afternoon.

Further south the départéments of Vaucluse, Bouches-du-Rhône and Var were on alert for heavy rainfall while Alpes-Maritimes and Var also had warnings in place for coastal flooding.

Residents in the départements with weather warnings in place were advised to take precaution when travelling and avoid unnecessary trips.

In areas at risk of flooding, drivers are warned not to attempt to cross roads that are submerged.

Those who live in coastal départéments are advised to avoid going near the sea. 


The general weather map for Thursday showed how snow could hit parts of the south east whilst it was a different story in the north of the country.

But across France on Thursday temperatures took a dip as the first real cold snap of the season arrived, with temperatures more like those seen in January than November.

In Burgundy and parts of the east of the country like Alsace the mercury will fall to around 0C to 3C on Thursday morning, while much of the rest of the country will see temperatures between 2C and 6C.

It will be slightly less chilly near the Mediterranean, with the mercury forecast to hit 10C.


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