Storm warnings issued across France with heatwave set for abrupt end

Météo France placed 28 départements on alert for violent storms on Wednesday with France's early summer heatwave set to come to a swift end.

Storm warnings issued across France with heatwave set for abrupt end
Storm warnings issued across France with heatwave set for abrupt end (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

Days of sweltering temperatures across much of France will peak on Wednesday afternoon with the Mercury set to top 33C in parts.

But Météo France, the country’s weather agency, warned the public to expect violent storms to then move in.

Twenty-eight départements in the west of the country were put on “orange” alert for storms – the second highest warning level.

Downpours and strong winds are forecast and even hail showers.

Members of the public are advised to take shelter indoors, stay away from trees and river banks which may experience flash flooding.

The areas initially at risk were Brittany and parts of Normandy, which will be followed by a large part of the southwest and départements on the border with the Paris region of Île-de-France in Wednesday evening.

The list of departments on “orange” alert are Pyrénées-Atlantiques, les Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Gironde, Dordogne, Charente-Maritime, Charente, Haute-Vienne, Vienne, Deux-Sèvres, Cher, Indre, Creuse, Indre-et-Loire, Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Maine-et-Loire, Sarthe, Mayenne, Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes-d’Armor, Eure-et-Loire, Orne, Manche and Calvados. Three additional départements were later added to the list: Seine-Maritime, Eure and Corrèze.

The Météo France forecast said “locally, the storms could result in significant downpours of up to 40 to 50 mm of rain.”

“Violent storms are expected to move north from the Basque Country and spread over Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes, part of Limousin, the Centre region, Anjou, and then the south of Normandy. They could also cause hailstorms and intense electrical activity. Strong winds could reach 100km/h. The activity of these thunderstorms will gradually weaken during the night and will be slightly milder by the time they reach the Paris region.”

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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.