5 French departments on alert with month of rain forecast in 24 hours
Météo France forecasters say orange weather warning could be extended if slow-moving weather system stalls
Residents in five departments in southeast France have been warned to batten down the hatches, with a month's worth of rain expected to fall in 24 hours.
In its early morning bulletin, national forecaster Météo France put Ardèche, Haute-Loire, Loire, Rhône and Ain on orange alert - its second highest warning - for stormy conditions.
It warned storms could hit from around 12:00 on Monday, May 10 and were expected to last well into the night.
A further 36 departments are on yellow weather warnings for storms and rain.
It warned that the stormy conditions would be slow to move away and predicted more than 150mm of rain in parts of the Ardèche alone. Elsewhere, between 70mm in 12 hours and 100mm in 24 hours are predicted. Eastern parts of the Loire and Haute-Loire, and western areas of the Ain would also face difficult weather conditions.
The weather warning is in place until Tuesday morning, but experts at Météo France have warned that it could be extended if the slow-moving weather system stalls.
The Loire and Haute-Loire had been on alert for high winds overnight, but wind speeds have now dropped below the 90kph threshold that triggers an upgraded weather alert.