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Rainfall records broken in July

Forecasters confirm what many knew - it has been wet this month. But, they say, it has also been warmer than normal...

TWO DAYS before the end of the month, forecasters have confirmed what many already knew - it has been a wet July in France.

Despite the rain - and following a cold and windy start to the month - experts have said that temperatures across much of France for July have been 1C above normal.

Figures show that it has been particularly warm in the west and north.

But record levels of rain have been recorded in towns and cities in the Rhône-Alpes and Alsace, with 64mm falling in Strasbourg on Monday alone, a daily record for the month.

Another rainfall record has been broken in Bouthéon, a town in the Forez plain about 15km from Saint-Etienne. Yesterday, 66mm of rain took the monthly total to 185mm, surpassing the 1977 record of 169.3mm.

Meanwhile, 200mm of rain has fallen on Besançon so far this month, more than double the July average and a new record, with more rain forecast over the next two days.

Paris, too, has suffered, with 115mm of rain recorded in Roissy - twice the normal level.

The southeast of the country has not been spared. A storm dumped 98mm of rain in two hours on Brignoles, Var, yesterday - more than twice the monthly average.

Normally sunny and hot Nice has endured nine stormy days since the beginning of the month.

Nor have temperatures in the Mediterranean regions been as high as elsewhere, with the Mistral and Tramontane winds keeping temperatures at the July average.

Météo-France issued several storm alerts this month, across large swathes of the country.

A pensioner was swept to his death in flash floods caused by one storm system, while a tornado killed two campers in Ardèche and Gard.

Forecasters at La Chaîne Météo predict that, following a brief respite at the weekend, August will take up where July left off, with rain and storm conditions on Monday and Tuesday, particularly in the east where up to 150mm of rain could fall in Alsace and Rhône-Alpes.

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