26 departments warned to brace for storms

'Locally violent' storms expected from early afternoon in a band from northeast to southwest France

'Locally violent' storms are forecast in 26 departments in a band from the northeast to the southwest of France, national forecaster Météo-France has warned in its latest bulletin.

Aube, Côte-d'Or, Haute-Marne, Meuse, Marne, Yonne, Aveyron, Haute-Garonne and Tarn had been on orange alert since the forecaster's first bulletin of the day.

They were joined by Ain, Ardennes, Cantal, Doubs, Jura, Loire, Haute-Loire, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Puy-de-Dôme, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Rhône, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Vosges and Territoire-de-Belfort in its second bulletin shortly after 10am.

Storms - accompanied by hail, heavy rain and winds of up to 100kph - will develop in the afternoon across a region from Burgundy to Champagne, the Ardennes and Lorraine.

Further southwest, they will develop later in the day, and will then move northeast to the Centre-Est and Alsace. Météo-France said these storms, too, would be accompanied by hail, heavy rain and strong winds, with gusts of more than 100kph.

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