Violent weather returns to France with 15 storm warnings

After a brief respite with sunshine across the country, 15 areas were placed on "orange" alert for storms on Friday, mainly in central and western France.

Violent weather returns to France with 15 storm warnings
A storm in Saint-Tropez in May 2021. Photo: Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP.

A first storm was predicted to hit Brittany on Monday morning, beginning in the southern part of the region before moving north in the afternoon. A second storm was forecast for western Brittany in the afternoon, before moving on to the Manche department in Normandy in the evening.

The orange alert from Météo France is the second highest alert level, which in this case means lightning, hailstorms, heavy rain, and winds of up to 90 km/h.

“A third period of violent storms is expected in the evening in Limousin, Auvergne, and Burgundy,” according to the forecaster. The central regions were warned to expect winds of up to 100 km/h, heavy rain, and “fairly large hailstones”.

In addition to the 15 départements where storms were forecast, the Aisne and Oise départements remained on orange alert for floods and rising water levels.

Those areas have been particularly hard hit by the volatile weather seen in France this summer. Following extreme flooding, mudslides and damage to property at the end of June, with a month’s worth of rain falling in a single night, the state officially recognised the storms as a natural disaster in 29 communes in Oise. A further 22 communes received the same classification earlier this week.

This week has seen warm temperatures across France, rising above 35C in the south-west, and above 30C in Brittany.

“In Brest, it’s unprecedented to have three consecutive days at more than 30C in the month of July,” Météo France said.

Bad news for those who were rejoicing that summer was finally here: more storms are forecast for the weekend, and the unpredictable weather is set to continue into next week, according to Météo France.

“The week has in store rain showers alternated with periods of respite. The middle of the week will however be reasonably sunny in general. The Mediterranean regions will retain mostly warm and dry weather.”

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Weather: Germany braces for heavy rainfall through weekend

Thanks to the weather front ‘Peggy’, which is moving west over Germany, the Bundesrepublik is seeing storms strike and saying goodbye to summer weather.

Weather: Germany braces for heavy rainfall through weekend

Rain and strong gusts of winds were expected throughout Germany on Thursday, with the western part of the country to see the heaviest downpour, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

The wet weather will intensify in the afternoon, moving north to Berlin and Hamburg.

The mercury was set to stretch between 17C and 25C throughout the country, according to DWD, with northern areas experiencing the coolest temperatures.

‘Long-awaited rainfall’

The storms were welcomed in drought-hit parts of western Germany, which has seen record heat over the past few years. 

“Peggy is a heroine. She is bringing long-awaited rainfall in the dry west,” wrote DWD in its weather report Thursday. 

READ ALSO: More floods, droughts, and heatwaves: How climate change will impact Germany

Yet they also pose a risk for flooding, particularly in parts of northwestern Germany, where between 30 and 50 liters of water per square meter were predicted to fall throughout the day.

“Even if the rain is certainly more of a blessing than a curse for many, these amounts also carry the risk of flooding streets or filling up cellars,” wrote DWD.

Rain will continue around the country on Friday. In the east and southeast, the sun is expected to shine again by the late afternoon, with the mercury reaching around 21C. 

Storms stretch into weekend

Saturday will likely be the coldest day of the week with highs of only 17C in some places, particularly along the coasts. Yet eastern regions will see the mercury rise between 18C and 22C.

The DWD advised to “keep an umbrella around as a faithful companion” as the wet weather continues.

On Sunday, stormy weather will slowly calm down and the showers will retreat to the southeast parts of the country. The mercury is set to hover around a nationwide average of 22C and 23C.