South of France on weather warning for heavy rain and floods

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South of France on weather warning for heavy rain and floods
A car drives in the rain in France in May 2023 (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

Several areas in south-east France were placed on 'orange' alert on Thursday as forecasters warn about heavy rains and flooding, plus winds of up to 80km/h.


France's national weather service, Météo France, has placed four départements in the south-east on the second-highest level of alert (orange) due to the risk of heavy rains and flooding.

The départements Drôme and Ardèche had already been placed on orange warning, but Météo France also added Isère and Ain on Thursday morning. 

Gusts of wind could read 70 to 80km/h in certain areas, and storms may be accompanied by hail. However, Météo France warned in its statement that "intense precipitation would likely be the cause of the most significant damage."

Drôme and Ardèche were already hit hard by flooding earlier in the week, following heavy downpours that left towns and homes flooded. 

On Monday, the A7 motorway was cut off for several hours due to rainfall and some schools in the area were be evacuated. 


Weather experts worry that the heavy rainfall seen earlier in the week could leave areas in the south-east 'highly vulnerable' to flooding, as the soil has not had time to absorb much of the water it collected. 

When will the storms take place?

The weather service forecast that thunderstorms will start "early afternoon" in Ardèche and Drôme.

Météo France said they expect rainfall to "intensify during the afternoon and evening (...) the heavy, storm-like precipitation will move to western Isère and Ain in the afternoon, and it is expected to persist into the evening."


Overall, the episode is not expected to go on for very long, Météo France predicted that the storms will move east and out of France during the night.


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