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Storm Frederico arrives in France, winds of over 120km/h expected

Areas in the north are on alert for heavy rain and gales are expected across most of the west and south. Some departments continue to face flood warnings

The storm will roll across France throughout the day, primarily affecting the north and centre Pic: Jaromir Chalabala / Shutterstock

[Update 16/11/2023, 16:05: As of 16:00, 10 departments are now on a tier three alert for weather warnings: Alpes-Maritimes, Charente-Maritime, Haute-Corse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Puy-de-Dome, Var, Vendee and Vosges]

A new Atlantic Storm dubbed Frederico is moving eastwards across France today (November 16) with a number of areas facing weather alerts.

Five departments are at a tier-three orange level and 75 are at a tier-two yellow level. Most of the warnings are for heavy rain and high winds, although many of the heightened warnings are for river flooding and affect departments that have been on alert for many days.

In Puy-de-Dôme gales of over 120 km/h are expected in Clermont-Ferrand.

Early predictions for tomorrow are for most of the east to continue facing warnings – at tier-two yellow level – but in the west alerts should be lifted.

The Pas-de-Calais department is also facing a tier-two yellow warning for heavy rain, leading to fears that flooding in the area may worsen again. 

Flood risks continue alongside new warnings

The four departments facing heightened orange alerts for river flooding are Charente-Maritime, Vendée, Pas-de-Calais, and Nord. The four have been on heightened alert since the beginning of the week. 

Due to today’s rain, however, a number of other rivers are at a tier-two level for flooding, especially in the east and west.

You can see the full list of rivers facing alerts on the official Vigicrues website.

The rain will hit most of France, going from west to east, throughout the day, although outside of the north-east – which is facing weather warnings for heavy rainfall – it is not expected to be severe. 

A number of departments, particularly near the Atlantic, will see gales of around 100 km/h but Météo France forecasts that these will weaken by the end of the day. 

However, some areas may see their alert level temporarily raised during the day, due to gales increasing in strength as they move inland before ultimately decreasing in intensity before the end of the day.

You can keep up to date with official weather warnings from the Météo France website.

Unlike Storm Ciaran, which battered France for a number of days, the passage of Frederico is set to be much less disruptive, and by the weekend is not expected to affect any part of the country.

Read more: What to do (and not do) during heavy rain and flood alerts in France

Worries in Pas-de-Calais continue

The Pas-de-Calais department, hit extremely hard by floods in the past two weeks, saw some respite yesterday as almost no rain fell in the area. 

However, the rainfall predicted for today means more flooding is expected, with rivers still far above usual levels, and any additional water falling on the river could risk them once again bursting their banks. 

School transport is partially operating again, and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne will visit the department this morning to assess some of the damage caused by the floods. 

Earlier this week, President Macron and a number of other ministers visited towns hit by the flood, declaring financial aid packages and announcing over 200 communes would be placed on the natural disaster list.

Departmental prefect Jacques Billant announced that since November 6 over 5,000 homes have been flooded, and 1,400 people have been evacuated from their properties. 

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