[Update February 17 at 16:30 - Manche, Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Seine-Maritime and Somme have now been placed on orange weather alerts for strong wind and waves.]
Northern France was hit by winds of up to 115km/h last night (February 16) as Storm Dudley moved over the UK and Ireland towards the continent, and the weather is expected to get worse with the arrival of Storm Eunice.
Après #Dudley suivra #Eunice, qui apportera vendredi des rafales de l'ordre de 100 à 120 km/h généralisées de la @RegionNormandie aux @hautsdefrance. Au Royaume-Uni, on attend 110 à 140 km/h et beaucoup de neige. Restez informés▶️https://t.co/CSYEovTI83 pic.twitter.com/yAw5jqBdsG— VigiMétéoFrance (@VigiMeteoFrance) February 16, 2022
In Hauts-de-France, gusts of 107km/h were recorded in Lille, with wind speeds reaching 112km/h in Lillers and 115km/h around Cap Gris-Nez (Pas-de-Calais).
Fire and rescue services from Nord and Pas-de-Calais were called out to more than 100 incidents, but no serious damage has been discovered this morning. Most of the firefighter interventions involved securing objects which were at risk of falling across public roads.
The conditions are calmer today, but winds are still at 80km/h inland and 100km/h on the coast and regional authorities are urging people to remain cautious.
Les effets de la #tempête britannique #Dudley se font sentir près de la Manche où le vent se renforce considérablement. On relève 112 km/h à #Barfleur sur la pointe du #Cotentin ! Webcam @viewsurf du phare de Goury. pic.twitter.com/Zl9kqKnWvB— Guillaume Séchet (@Meteovilles) February 16, 2022
Some 18 departments in the north of France – as well as Var in the south – are on a Météo France yellow weather warning for strong winds today.
There are also weather warnings in place in other departments concerning powerful waves, flooding and avalanches.
Storm Dudley will be replaced tomorrow (February 18) by the more violent Storm Eunice, which has been described as “explosive” by the Chaîne Météo weather service.
This weather system will create winds of up to 130km/h over Ireland and Great Britain, where residents in various areas of the country have been told to stay at home.
It will then arrive in Hauts-de-France and Normandy.
Le vent forcit sur l'extrême nord de la France, en marge de la #tempêteDudley sur les #ÎlesBritanniques. On relève déjà 84 km/h à #Dunkerque à 15h. Webcam @viewsurf à Zuydcoote. pic.twitter.com/kBNia0XlgX— Guillaume Séchet (@Meteovilles) February 16, 2022
The storm will bring gusts of up to 100km/h and 140km/h on the coast over the course of the day, causing powerful waves.
The strongest winds will be felt on the coastline of Manche and the north of Hauts-de-France. However, the storm will have begun to abate by the time it reaches France, and conditions will be more extreme over the UK and Ireland.