A series of storms is expected to hit France this weekend and next week, putting an end to the latest heatwave that has meant temperatures of up to 40C in many parts of the country.
Saturday will be the final day of the current hot spell, which peaked in most places yesterday (August 12). There are still 16 departments in the west of the country on orange heatwave alert, with all of them also on yellow storm alert.
The first storms are expected over Saturday night and into Sunday morning, arriving over the eastern Pyrenees – Ariège, Pyrénées-Orientales, Andorra.
They will then spread north towards the Massif Central, passing by Toulouse.
De violents #orages ⛈️éclateront samedi en fin d'après-midi sur les #Pyrénées, surtout sur l'est (Ariège, Andorre et Pyrénées-Orientales). Ces orages nécessitent l'anticipation si vous êtes en camping ️ou en rando en #montagne ⛰️De nouveaux orages éclateront aussi dimanche ‼️ pic.twitter.com/FJACnVT0EV— La Chaîne Météo (@lachainemeteo) August 12, 2022
By Sunday, the hot spell will be over and storms are expected over almost the whole of France, with the exception of the north-east, close to the border with Belgium, which will remain hot.
The strongest thunderstorms are expected between the Pyrenees and the central eastern part of France, with heavy showers, wind and a risk of hail.
The heavy rain could also lead to flooding in some areas as the ground, dried out from a succession of heatwaves, will not be able to absorb it.
Cet épisode caniculaire va prendre fin dimanche à la suite d'une dégradation orageuse qui touchera la plupart des régions, générant ainsi une baisse significative des températures. pic.twitter.com/11aIVESeZZ— Météo-France (@meteofrance) August 12, 2022
Next week’s forecast
By Monday, high temperatures will have dropped around most of the country, with highs reaching up to 30C in some areas – a significant drop from the highs of 40C in the past week.
And the storms are set to persist.
"We are going to enter a week with violent storms over three quarters of France", Régis Crépet, forecaster at Météo Consult, told La Dépêche.
“The beginning of the week will be unstable, between sunny spells and thundery showers, weather that we have not experienced at all since the beginning of July.”
The storms should ease off later in the week, although it is not easy to predict at this stage.