Flights delayed as strong winds and downpours batter southwest France

Six départements in southwest France were on orange alert for strong wind, rain, thunder and snow on Friday as some flights were delayed by the weather conditions.

Flights delayed as strong winds and downpours batter southwest France
Illustration photo: AFP/Météo France

Four southwestern départements and both of the island Corsica's two départements were on Friday placed on the second highest level of alert (orange) for wind, heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The situation will deteriorate overnight Friday into Saturday, said Météo France.

“The wind will sweep over the east coast and get particularly violent this Friday evening and in the first part of the night from Friday to Saturday, reaching 130 or even occasionally 150 km/h,” the weather agency said on their website.

Public weather agency Météo France warned of heavy rainfalls of between 50 and 80mm in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département, “abundant snow” in mountainous areas and “wind gusts of over 100 km/h.”

Several flights were delayed on Friday, including in Corsica and in the southern city Perpignan, where Météo France had registered wind gusts of 140km/h.


Orange alert level means there are risks such as power and telephone cuts, roofs and chimneys can be damaged, tree branches might break off and traffic can be disrupted, according to Météo France.

Persons in exposed areas are recommended to not travel if they can avoid it and watch out for falling objects.

The bad weather will continue until Sunday evening, according to Météo France, although it would be calmer on Saturday than on Friday.



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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.