Heavy rain and high winds forecast for much of France this weekend

Unsettled conditions will begin in northwestern areas before moving south and east. Some areas are forecasted to receive 40-60mm of rain – half the amount normally expected in October 

1 October 2021

An area of low pressure moving from Iceland and over the North Sea will give way to a rainy, windy weekend in France. Pic: Niyom Napalai / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

Strong winds and heavy rain are expected in France this weekend beginning in the north and west before moving to much of the rest of the country..

From this morning (October 1), an area of low pressure moving from Iceland and over the North Sea will cause cloud cover and sustained drizzly rain stretching from Brittany and Pays de la Loire to the Belgian border, predicts state forecaster Météo France.
The rain will give way to storms in some areas of Brittany and Lower Normandy, with high south-westerly winds affecting areas close to the Channel. 

Towards the end of the day, Météo France expects the rain to move over Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France and Champagne-Ardenne, while in Brittany and Normandy the weather will brighten slightly. 

More rain on Saturday and Sunday

A “clear aggravation” of weather conditions is forecast from Saturday, with rain and winds moving over the British Isles towards the northwest of France. 

People in these areas should expect gusts of up to 100km/h around the Brittany coast and Cotentin Peninsula, and of 80-90 km/h in Vendée, Pays de la Loire and Normandy.

Across Vendée and towards Pays de la Loire there will be heavy, unrelenting rain from the afternoon into the evening, with 40-60 mm forecast to fall in some areas – half the amount normally expected in October. 

Overnight, the weather system will move over Languedoc and the Cévennes mountains and intensify. 

On Sunday it will be the south and east of France that experiences heavy rainfall, with snow expected to fall on the Pyrenees and Alps above 2,000-2,200m. Conditions will be clearer towards the Channel.

To the east of the Cévennes Mountains and towards the Rhône Valley, up to 200mm of rain could fall over the weekend, although more precise forecasts will be available in the coming hours. 

A ‘severe deterioration’ in weather conditions 

Over the weekend, a southerly airstream will have a warming effect, but this will be replaced with cooler air from the Northern Atlantic from Monday October 4. 

These contrasting air masses are symptomatic of the autumn season and create volatile weather conditions when they meet. 

To keep up to date with the development of these weekend weather systems, you can consult Météo France’s weather alert map as well as Vigicrues, which gives evolving  information about the risk of flooding across France based on conditions. 

There is currently no weather alert in place in anticipation of the weekend’s rain and winds, and so the public is not being asked to take specific precautions at this stage.

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