Wind, rain and lots of snow set to hit southern France on Monday

The French national weather forecaster is warning of floods and avalanches in the hardest hit areas.

Wind, rain and lots of snow set to hit southern France on Monday
Photo: AFP

Approaching from Spain, the storm called Gloria will flush the southern regions with “exceptionally” heavy rainfall combined with strong winds starting on Monday evening, according to Météo France.

The French national weather agency had issued an orange alert for the Pyrénées-Orientales département in the far south of the country, where the rain will come down as snow. 

In a tweet, Météo France warned that the more than 300 mm snow in 48 hours – and more in mountainous regions – would lead to a “strong risk of snow avalanches.”


Floods are expected in the southern half of Aude. Eastern Corsica and Languedoc will also be hit, but to a lesser degree.

Predicted wind gusts of up to 100 km/h over the entire southwestern coast of Roussilon – causing huge sea waves up to 7 meters – increase the flood risk further.

Gloria will reach her peak intensity sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, with Météo France predicting between 200 and 300 mm of rain in the areas concerned. 

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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.