Storm warnings in western France
Météo-France warns of more weather alerts throughout Monday
Four western departments are on orange storm alert and Météo France warned it could extend the alerts throughout the day, after freak weekend hailstorms wrought havoc in the Bordeaux and Cognac regions.
The national forecaster has placed Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne on its second-highest alert level, with thunderstorms due to start at around 11am. The alert current will remain in place until 8pm.
"In an unstable and humid atmosphere, thunderstorms will develop from the Massif Central this morning and advance towards the North-West", the forecaster said.
"In departments placed on orange alert, these storms could give heavy rainfall and hail, with potential accumulations in the order of 40mm to 50mm in one or two hours."
It warned of, "a very probable extension of orange thunderstorm alerts to a large part of the north of the country" throughout the morning.
Winemakers were inspecting damage to their vines on Sunday after large hailstones cause widespread damage to vines less than 24 hours earlier.
The Côtes de Bourg, the Haut-Medoc and the Cotes de Blaye wine-growing areas were badly hit, local wine association the CIVB said, while vineyards used for cognac around the town of Jonzac were also damaged.
Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert said on Saturday that the government was looking into "what measures we can put in place and what support we can offer" to the industry.
Full details of the damaged caused by Saturday's hailstorms are due early this week.
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