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Most of France on alert for storms before bank holiday

Areas in the south west are on tier-three warnings, while temperatures are forecast to reach up to 38C in the east where heatwave alerts continue

You may need an umbrella or a fan today depending where you are in France Pic: fizkes / Julia Sudnitskaya / Shutterstock

Weather warnings are continuing in France today (August 14) after a weekend of contrasting weather that saw both storms and heatwaves. 

More than 50 departments are facing tier-two yellow storm warnings with heavy rainfall forecast, stretching from the Nouvelle Aquitaine region in the south west, to the German border in the north east.

Five departments in the south west have been given tier-three orange warnings over the storms, the second highest possible.

In addition, ten departments are facing warnings for a canicule  – heatwave – with five of these also being at tier-three orange level.

Temperatures in the affected departments – the Rhône valley and mountainous east near Switzerland – could reach up to 38C, although elsewhere summer averages are expected. 

It comes as warnings over a spike in temperatures could see prolonged high temperatures over the coming week, particularly in the south west and Mediterranean backcountry areas. 

Storm warnings in most departments

After the weekend saw a violent storm spread eastward across France – bringing heavy rain and hail storms – further storms are set to follow a similar pattern at the start of this week. 

From the south west in the Pays Basque (by the Spanish border) all the way to the Rhine, heavy rain is expected to fall throughout the day.

By late afternoon, Météo France predicts that thunderstorms will appear around Poitiers and Limoges, making their way eastwards before arriving in Burgundy and the Grand Est region during the night.

Later eruptions of rain and thunder in the south and central areas of France could also be joined by hailstorms, particularly in the Massif Central area. 

Météo France has placed 55 departments on a tier-two yellow warning for the storms today (August 14), with 43 currently predicted to have the same warnings in place tomorrow (August 15). 

On both days, the five departments facing tier-three warnings for storms are: 

  • Dordogne
  • Corrèze
  • Lot
  • Lot-et-Garonne
  • Tarn-et-Graonne

You can find the full list of departments under warning here, and below a photo of departments tentatively facing any warnings on August 15, the Assumption public holiday.

Credit: Météo France

At a tier-two warning, Météo France recommends people take caution when outside, and keep up to date with local weather reports. 

At a tier-three warning, residents are recommended to take extreme caution when leaving their house, and keep informed about any weather changes.

Read more: Warmer summer? Météo France gives three-month weather trends outlook

Heatwave hits east of France in force 

Last weekend also saw departments facing warnings for heatwave, which have continued into the beginning of the week. 

Situated in the Rhône valley and the Alpine east of France, the warnings have been in place since the weekend, with the area seeing temperatures of up to 38C. 

The five departments facing a tier-three warning today and tomorrow are: 

  • Ain
  • Savoie
  • Haute-Savoie
  • Isère
  • Rhône 

The warnings are for a canicule. This is an official heatwave alert in France and means weather stays warm during the night (minimum 20C) alongside generally high temperatures throughout the day (at least 30C) for three consecutive days

A number of other departments around the Rhône, as well as the Pyrénées-Orientales department, are facing tier-two warnings. 

Temperatures could again reach 38C in these areas today and tomorrow.

The warm air set to circulate throughout France this week could see temperatures remain high, particularly in the south as well as increasing the risk of stormy weather, according to La Chaîne Météo. 

It predicts that further heatwave warnings could come into force towards the end of the week. 

Related articles: 

‘Face the reality’: France ‘must prepare’ for +4C global warming

France heatwave tips: How to sleep, keep cool and stay healthy

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