France is buckling up for a colder-than-average weekend, which could see snowfall in various foothills and mountain ranges across the country.
Most of the day will be dry but grey and overcast, however by this (November 24) evening Météo France forecasts “cool air and showers,” corresponding to a drop in temperatures.
Temperatures will drop to around two degrees colder than usual for the end of November, but the shift will be more noticeable due to the mild weather experienced for most of the month so far, said Météo France.
Snow may fall at just 500 metres above sea level, and is expected in the Vosges, Jura, Alps, Massif Central, and Morvan areas.
Heavier snowfall is predicted for the first half of next week, with much more of the country set to be covered.
Elsewhere, some departments are facing tier-two yellow warnings for river flooding in the north, and for high winds in the south.
The ‘Mistral’ wind is forecast to bring winds of over 100 km/h to some Mediterranean departments.
The Nord department is facing a tier-three orange warning for coastal waves – you can keep up to date with all official weather warnings on the Météo France website.
Temperature drop to last well into next week
Temperatures have already been getting cooler this week, particularly in the mornings, due to a polar wind descending on France.
Morning temperatures on Thursday were as low as -3.9C in Saint-Etienne, -2.4C in Strasbourg, and -2.2C in Nancy.
On Friday, temperatures in the south will continue to remain around 15C, in the north maximums of 10C are expected.
However, by Saturday temperatures of around 7C or 8C will be felt in most of France, and aside from coastal areas (in the south but also perhaps surprisingly in Brittany), nowhere will be above 10C.
In the Alps, highs of only 1C are expected.
It is a similar story on Sunday, where similar temperatures are forecast, and at the beginning of next week, aside from rain across much of the north and centre of the country, temperatures will remain at this level, with only the south seeing any temperatures above 10C.
Early forecasts for next Wednesday are for a further reduction in temperatures, with most places struggling to reach above 5C, and in the east by the German border temperatures hovering around -2C throughout the day.
Weather forecasters say that temperatures may climb a little at the end of next week, but being so close to the meteorological start of winter (always on December 1), any relief will be temporary and temperatures will soon slip down again.
Will the winter snows start?
Meteorologists expect snowfall over the weekend in France’s main mountain areas, at heights of as low as 500 metres.
At the beginning of next week, however, snowfall across most of the east is predicted, from Metz all the way to the Alpine areas of the Paca region.
Between Monday and Wednesday, up to 30 cm of snow may fall in mountainous areas, and around 5 - 10 cm at lower levels.