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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UPDATE: Stormy weather alerts issued in France

France's meteorological service has issued orange alerts for storms in 21 départements urging the population to be vigilant.

UPDATE: Stormy weather alerts issued in France

Météo France has warned that much of the country will experience storms on Sunday. 

21 départements have been issued orange weather warnings. 

They include Landes, Gironde, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Corrèze, Creuse, Cantal, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Allier, Cher, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, Haute-Loire and Loire.

People living or visiting these areas are urged to “be very vigilant”. 

Forecasters predict hail and strong winds of up to 110km/h in some areas. Périgord, Limousin, Quercy and areas to the east of Poitou and Charentes are most likely to be battered by strong gusts. 

This weather is set to last until about 3AM on Monday. 

The storms will coincide with temperatures surpassing 30 degrees across much of the southern half of the country.

Last weekend, violent thunder storms left thousands of homes without electricity in northwestern France.