Central France on alert for more violent storms

Four departments in central France were placed on storm alert on Monday, as France braces itself for another week of extreme weather.

Central France on alert for more violent storms
More storms were predicted in the Lyon region on Monday. Photo: PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP.

The Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Loire and Rhône departments have been placed on orange alert, based on forecasts by Météo France. ‘Violent’ storms were expected to begin on Monday afternoon, with hailstorms, heavy rain and strong winds.

On Tuesday, June 22nd, three months’ worth of rain fell in one day in the northern town of Beauvais, leading to floods and collisions on the roads. While on Friday, June 18th, thousands of homes in south west France were without electricity after violent overnight storms after an early summer heatwave ended with a thunderous bang.

And after a brief respite there was more on the way – starting on Saturday as the 2021 Tour de France got under way in Brittany. 

Storms in the south west caused damage to trees and power lines on Sunday.

The Météo-France forecast for Monday evening. Image: Météo-France

Forecasters said the cause of this latest series of thunderstorms is a weather phenomenon known as a ‘cold drop’ – a mass of isolated cold air surrounded by areas of warmer air. 

As the animation from storm watchers Keraunos shows, that problematic mass of storm-causing cold air that has travelled from Britain is expected to bounce around France for several days.

The Météo-France forecast for Tuesday afternoon. Image: Météo-France

Temperatures will stick below normal for the season for most of the country, while forecasters expect storms to bubble up towards the end of the day from Monday until at least Thursday. 

Forecasters admit the scenario could change a bit depending on the behaviour of the cold drop, which may disappear faster than models predict. But the consensus of opinion is that we should expect rain and storms for a few days to come.

Storms are not unusual at this time of year – they are most common in France in June, July and August, with an average of 15 to 20 stormy days each summer. We will be at the lower end of that average by the end of next week.

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Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

Temperatures are set to rise dramatically across Italy this weekend as the country prepares for its first real heatwave of the year, meteorologists said on Friday.

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

People across Italy are preparing to head to the beach this weekend with unseasonably hot weather predicted to last for several days.

The heatwave is caused by an anticyclone named  ‘Hannibal’ sweeping in from Tunisia and Algeria, bringing hot air currents across the Mediterranean and as far north as Denmark and Poland, reports news agency Ansa.

Temperatures are forecast to rise above 32-33°C in parts of the Italian north including Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Emilia Romagna, before the heatwave expands towards the centre and south of the country over the course of the weekend.

The weather is already 8°C above the seasonal average for this time of year, according to Antonio Sanò, founder of the Italian weather site, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

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In a typical year these kinds of highs wouldn’t be seen until July, Sanò said.

The incoming heatwave will be particularly humid as the anticyclone is carrying moisture from the Mediterranean sea, according to IlMeteo.

However, the relative cool of the Mediterranean basin at this time of year will contain the heat and keep the temperatures from rising into the high 30s, as would happen if the same type of weather event occurred in August.

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The heatwave will stretch over the weekend and continue into next week, peaking on Tuesday, according to weather reports.

Patchy thunderstorms typical of midsummer weather are anticipated in the Alps and the Po Valley, while the centre-south is set to experience hot and sunny conditions bar some isolated storms in the mountains of Abruzzo on Sunday.