When will it stop raining in France?

The Local France
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When will it stop raining in France?
Wet weather in Arcachon, south-western France, as the country suffers weeks of rain and repeated storms. Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP

Much of northern and central France has been battered by weeks of heavy rain and repeated storms - so when can we expect the rain to stop?


France has seen a record-breaking amount of rain this autumn, with weeks of wet weather as repeated storms hit the country since mid October. 

Between October 18th and November 12th, the country recorded an average rainfall total of more than 215mm according to Météo-France, which stated on November 13th that "we have to go back to 1993 to observe a total of 196.9mm between September 21st and October 16th".

While areas like Paris and central and western France have seen endless wet days, in the north and east of the country the situation is more serious with severe flooding and weather warnings. 


Storm Ciaran struck northern France at the start of November causing huge amounts of damage, especially in Brittany, but there have actually been three other storms since mid October - Bernard, Domingos and Aline - while a fifth (Frederico) struck on Thursday. 

The repeated storms and torrential rain has caused rivers in the north and east of the country to burst their banks with the Pas-de-Calais département declared a natural disaster zone because of the extent of the flooding.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne visits flood-hit areas in Pas-de-Calais. Photo by BERNARD BARRON / AFP

Eastern areas including the Alpine départements of Savoie and Haute-Savoie have also been placed on the highest alert level for floods.

So how long can we expect the terrible weather to continue? 

Unfortunately, it might be a while yet.

For the week ahead, Météo France's overall forecast says: "The weather is likely to be fairly wet over most of the country. Temperatures will drop temporarily at the start of the week, then remain slightly above seasonal norms."

The northern Pas-de-Calais département was again on orange alerts for flooding and heavy rain on Monday.

Although the south of France is spared too much rain, the general forecast over northern and central France is for rain and cloud.

There are currently no more storms forecast, but Météo France said that the repeated storms are the fault of the USA (sort of), saying that the weather depression that hit France "took advantage of a current of very powerful winds aloft from North America towards France, acting as a 'boulevard' for them. Taking on moisture over the ocean, they then dump their high winds and water over France."

It's not certain when the American wind current will move on, but Météo France climatologist Simon Mittelberger told France Info: "This rainy scenario is likely to persist over the next quarter" - in other words, it might well rain until Christmas. 


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