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France set for heavy rain as record-breaking dry period ends

Some parts of the country may even see snow, and rain will be strongest in east and south-west

Rainfall is expected to last well into next week, with no let-up expected at the weekend Pic: Julia Sudnitskaya / Shutterstock

After a record-breaking drought in February, France is set to return to more familiar winter territory this week.

Heavy rainfall is expected across almost the entire country, and even snow in certain regions.

Rainfall will be heaviest in the east, but high rainfall levels are also expected in the south-west, as well as in Normandy and Brittany. The poor weather is expected to last until at least the weekend. 

The north and north-east may see snow on Wednesday, and only the Mediterranean coastline is expected to be spared any rainfall.

It is a welcome relief for some after France saw its longest winter drought this winter, 32 consecutive days without rain.  

Increasing intensity

Starting from Tuesday (March 7), rain will be present across much of the country, although most areas will only see scattered showers in the first part of the week.

By Wednesday afternoon, however, rainfall will be much stronger across France, and if snow falls, it is forecasted for Wednesday.

Other than in areas with snow, there is no cold snap expected, and temperatures will remain at average levels despite the wet conditions.

Rain will last into the weekend and potentially even further into next week, and a month’s worth of rainfall is forecast to fall over the next 10 – 15 days.

This rainfall is not enough to undo the effects of the winter drought, however.

Record-breaking drought

The drought, which was the longest since records began in 1959, has already seen some areas issue water usage restrictions, with many more expected in the coming months.

Despite scattered rain across the country, this is the first period of extended rainfall for over six weeks.

The lack of winter rainfall, which is usually when water levels are replenished, has combined with the ongoing effects of last year’s summer drought to leave water levels in France “dangerously low”, and despite this week’s high rainfall, the coming of spring (where evaporation begins to increase) leaves France in a precarious situation for the coming months.

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