THE ‘CROSSOVER’ weekend for holidaymakers in France is set to get off to a stormy start in the southwest, with nine departments on orange alert.
National forecaster Météo-France has warned that violent electrical storms are set to hit Ariege, Aude, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Pyrenees-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrenees, Pyrenees-Orientales, Tarn and Tarn-et-Garonne between 2pm and 11pm today.
It warned that popular Pyrenean holiday destination Andorra will also be affected as storm conditions sweep into France from Spain.
Météo-France said that the storms will be locally severe, accompanied by high electrical activity, hail and with winds that could reach 100kph.
In places, between 40mm and 60mm of rain could fall in an hour, it said.
The storm alert has prompted train operator SNCF to issue a warning that rail travel in the region may be disrupted.