Temperatures feeling as low as -16 hit France

Heavy snowfalls have hit northern France, halting school bus services, with bitterly cold weather affecting a band from Normandy to the Grand Est

9 February 2021
By James Harrington

No school buses were operating in Brittany on February 9, 2021 as the region braced for heavy snow. Large swathes of northern France are expected to shiver in sub-zero temperatures until the weekend.

The four departments that make up the most westerly region of France were among 21 on orange alert (see map below) for snow and ice in the forecaster's early bulletin. Up to 15cm of snow is expected in places, with 'feels-like' temperatures - where the wind chill factor makes you feel even colder than it actually is - hitting temperatures as low as -16 in places.

Meteo France's weather map showing the regions on alert for snow and ice

Strong, sustained winds of between 50kph and 70kph will cause the rapidly settling snow to drift.

Another 29 departments were on yellow alert for snow and ice (see map above), as a cold wave pushes south from northern Europe, affecting a band of France from Normandy in the west to the Grand Est.

Overnight temperatures are expected to dip as low as between -10C and -16C in some areas of northern France. There will be no respite until the end of the week, forecasters said, before warmer air pushes up from the south.

While the morning rush hour in Brittany was not affected, forecasters warned that conditions were expected to become more difficult as workers headed home. They urged people to limit their movements as much as possible amid concern that drifts could affect even major routes, notably in Finistère and Côtes-d'Armor.

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