Storms Dudley and Eunice set to bring 140 km/h winds to northern France

Winds of up to 140 km/h are forecast when storms Dudley and Eunice hit northern France.

Storm waves crash into the sea wall of a town in northern France
Photo: Philippe Huguen / AFP

A month of relative weather peace ended this week after an anticyclone that protected the country for more than a month dissipated, leaving the country at the mercy of winter Atlantic weather conditions

Storms Dudley and Eunice are forecast to sweep over Ireland, then into the UK before heading into Europe – and the north of France should brace for strong winds on Wednesday night into the early hours of Thursday, and again on Friday.

The French have already witnessed a return of rainy intervals, turning wintry at higher altitudes following the break-up of the anticyclone’s ‘weather shield’.

Dudley will be the first storm to affect northern reaches of France, bringing some heavy rain and winds gusting up to 110kph overnight on the hauteurs de l’Artois and Pays de Caux, upper Normandy, and across Hauts-de-France from 10pm until about 2pm. 

Winds of up to 80kph are to be expected from Lower Normandy across to the Grand Est.

After a lull on Thursday, the more powerful Storm Eunice is set to track across a similar path on Friday, bringing wind gusts of up to 120kph in the Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Somme, rising to 140kph along the coast.

From Normandy to the Ardennes, windspeeds of up to 100kph are forecast, while further south, from Brittany and Pays-de-la-Loire to the Grand Est, the gusts can reach 80 or even 90kph.

A storm surge of between 30cm and 40cm is expected along northern coasts at high tide on Friday – though that is not as high as the 1m envisaged along the coast of the Netherlands, further north, where worse conditions are predicted.

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September temperature records broken in France amid new heatwave

Much of the foliage in France is already looking distinctly autumnal, but another heatwave is forecast for this week, with some areas reaching 39C and 40C.

September temperature records broken in France amid new heatwave

After a cooler few weeks with temperatures dropping significantly at night, France is predicted to return to summer heat this week, with Météo France predicting temperatures of up to 39C in the south west.

Fears that Hurricane Danielle would hit Europe have proved unfounded, with the storm dispersing and instead turning into a simple low-pressure system that will bring warm weather up from North Africa. 

The hot weather began on Sunday in the south west, where Biarritz reached 31.5C and the region saw temperatures of up to 39C on Monday. 

Elsewhere in France temperatures were predicted to be 24C-30C in northern and central France and 29C-34C along the Mediterranean coast.

By mid-afternoon on Monday, over a hundred communes located mostly in the southwest and central France broke heat records for the month of September. 

Pau, located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département recorded 37.4C, exceeding its previous record of 36.3C from 1970. Several communes saw temperatures of higher than 35C. 

In Landes, the Bégaar weather station recorded temperatures of higher than 40C in the afternoon.

The hot weather is predicted to last until the middle of the week, when it will cool slightly, and there may be storms on some areas.

Many areas in France remain on drought alert with water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?