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Ice and snow orange alert for 19 French departments: Effects and tips

Snow has been falling across parts of France since Thursday, and the current alert is to remain in place until at least tomorrow morning

Snow fall and weather alert

Snow is falling mainly in areas of higher altitude, stretching from the southwest to the east of France Pic: OlegRi / Shutterstock and Météo-France

19 departments spreading from the southwest of France across the centre towards the East, plus Corsica, remain on orange alert for snow and ice today (April 2). 

The current alert is to remain in place until at least Sunday at 06:00. 

Read more: Snow and ice: 22 French departments placed on orange alert

National weather service Météo-France described the snowfall as “an unusual event for the beginning of spring”, and warned that it is “significant enough to disrupt traffic and certain economic activities”. 

The departments under orange alert are:

Ain, Allier, Ariège, Aveyron, Cantal, Corrèze, Corse-du-Sud, Haute-Corse, Creuse, Haute-Garonne, Isère, Loire, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Savoie, Tarn and Haute-Vienne

The cold wave that carries the snow first hit France on Thursday (March 31).

Possible consequences for departments under orange alert

Météo-France lists the following possible consequences for departments under orange alert:

  • Snowfall or hail is expected in significant proportions for the region.
  • Traffic conditions may quickly become very difficult, especially around forest areas where falling trees may cause problems
  • There is a higher risk of accidents [road and otherwise]
  • Some damage to electricity and telephone networks may occur.

Advice for what to do if you live in a department with orange alert

Météo-France suggests:

  • Remaining up to date with information from official sources (such as Météo-France. See their Twitter alerts page here
  • Limit your travel
  • If you do have to drive, take extra food and blankets with you in case you break down
  • Do not continuously use fuel heaters. Think about installing a generator outside your house

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