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Storms, avalanches - and a record 26.1C: All in same day in France

France’s position means that its climate is influenced by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, as well currents from the various mountain ranges

Three different weather events: winds, avalanches and sunshine

France regularly witnesses very varied weather events in the space of one day Pic: Rainer Fuhrmann, Trombax, Malcangi Valentina / Shutterstock

Storm Diego whipped its way across France from west to east yesterday (April 8), with winds of up to 120km/h in some places, resulting in weather service Météo-France placing five departments on orange alert for strong winds. 

In eastern Savoie, a warning was put out for avalanches – which is still in place for Saturday. Meanwhile, in the southeast of the country, the city of Nice hit 26.1C, a high not recorded since 1946. 

Storm Diego has now passed through France, while Savoie remains on orange alert for avalanches.

Météo-France had placed Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Puy-de-Dôme, Haute-Loire on orange alert but these have now been downgraded. 

Read more: High winds: Five French departments on alert as Storm Diego takes hold

In Savoie, Météo-France states that the potential for this level of avalanches usually occurs once per season, and that this year it is rather late. 

Down in the south-east corner of the country, several towns, including Nice, recorded very high temperatures for this time of year. In Menton, close to the Italian border, it reached 28C around 15:00. And in Antibes it reached 26.9. 

The fact that the three weather events occurred in one day in one country may seem odd, but in fact it exemplifies France’s truly diverse climate. 

France’s position means that its climate is influenced by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, as well currents from the various mountain ranges.

Weather service Météo-Contact states that there are four types of climate in France:

“There is the oceanic climate with a sub-category called ‘degraded oceanic climate’, the semi-continental climate, the Mediterranean climate and finally the mountain climate. Each of these climates has its own particular characteristics.”

It means that at any time of year, there could be beautiful sunshine in one place, and snow storms in another. 

The map below shows the categories of France’s different climates, according to Météo-Contact. 

Pic: Screenshot / Météo-Contact

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