Photos: Tornado, huge hailstones and floods in France weather chaos

A tornado, hailstones the size of tennis balls, and roads looking more like rivers are among the phenomena seen this weekend, as thunderstorm alerts remain in place

20 June 2021
Man holds huge hailstones, next to a photo of smashed back car windscreen. Photos: Tornado, huge hailstones and floods in France weather chaos

Massive hailstones seen in Vercel-Villedieu-le-Camp in Doubs, captured by Météo Franc-Comtoise Pic: Météo Franc-Comtoise / @Meteo_FC_ / Twitter

By Hannah Thompson

A mini-tornado, rain, and giant hailstones have wreaked havoc across France this weekend, with a church spire destroyed in Indre-et-Loire, cars smashed in Doubs, and flooding in Essonne and Reims. 

The church in the Indre-et-Loire village of Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil was damaged by a tornado, with strong gusts of wind toppling the spire. The falling stonework damaged cars underneath.

The commune’s salle des fêtes was also damaged, as were surrounding vines in the village’s wine-growing areas. No human injuries have been reported. 

(Please note the video below contains adult language in French.)

Meanwhile, in Vercel-Villedieu-le-Camp in Doubs, hailstones the size of tennis balls fell, smashing through car windows, and causing major damage to windscreens.

Heavy rain and strong winds also caused flooding and damage in Essonne in Ile-de-France, and in Reims, Grand Est.


Alerts still in place

Thunderstorms and rain are still forecast for most of the country today (June 20), with temperatures still at 16-26C in the north, and around 24-27C in the south.

Météo France still has 28 departments on orange alert for thunderstorms and heatwave conditions.

Rain is forecast in the northwest tomorrow (June 21), with thunderstorms expected in the west in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Sunny spells are forecast in the east, southeast, and far south.

Related stories

Swathes of France placed on orange alert for storms this weekend
Violent storms and 100kph winds cause heavy damage in southwest France
More storm warnings in southwest France, heatwave alert in southeast

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