UPDATE: More snow and ice weather warnings issued across France

People living in 11 French départements have been told to be "very vigilant" due to snowy and icy weather conditions forecast for Thursday night and Friday.

11 French départements have been warned to be
11 French départements have been warned to be "very vigilant" about snow and ice, amid a dramatic drop in temperatures. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP)

A severe drop in temperatures across the country has led Météo France, the public meteorological service, to issue 11 orange alerts over snow and ice. 

The following départements can expect significant snowfall late Thursday and into Friday: Loire, Haute Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Creuse, Orne, Calvados, Eure, Seine-Maritime, Somme, Pas-de-Calais and Nord. 

Some areas may receive as much as 10 cm of snowfall overnight.

11 French départements, in the north and centre of the country, have been given 'orange alerts' for bad weather.

11 French départements, in the north and centre of the country, have been given ‘orange alerts’ for snow and ice. (Source: Météo France)

Temperatures across the country had dropped by Thursday morning but Friday appears to be the day when snowfall will be widest, with temperatures hovering just above freezing in much of the country that night. 

Meteorologist Gilles Matricon told Le Parisien that the abrupt change to the weather, which comes after weeks of pleasant temperatures and sunshine across much of France, is due to the collapse of an anticyclone that has hovered over northern Europe for about a month now. 

“Cold air will descend from Scandinavia to France plunging us into winter,” he warned predicting a decline in temperatures of 10 C from Monday to Thursday. 

The last of the snowflakes are predicted to fall on April 4th. The authorities are yet to issue a weather warning. 

Frosty mornings have the potential to cause damage to a number of French agricultural sectors. Cold temperatures in April 2021 are estimated to have cost French vineyards upwards of €2 billion in damage, with about a third of all production lost. 

The situation should not be as bad this time around, according to Matthieu Regimbeau, an agronomical engineer cited in Le Parisien. 

“The frost will be less present and the temperatures will not drop too much at night,” he explained. 

Colder temperatures are undoubtedly good news however, for ski resorts, who may be able to prolong their season thanks to a delayed melting of snow. 

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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.