Heavy rain to continue in southern France and more storms on way

Passage of Olympic torch en route for Carcassonne may be impacted

In some areas up to 100mm of rain may fall in only 24 hours
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Heavy rainfall is expected across the south of France today (May 14) as unstable weather conditions continue. 

Showers that began near the Atlantic ocean overnight will progressively move eastwards as the day continues.

The rain will combine with storms moving inland from the Mediterranean, principally affecting the Gard and Hérault departments, as well as parts of the Massif Central.

On average, around 50mm of rain will fall in the coming 24 hours in the areas affected, the equivalent of two weeks of average rainfall. 

In parts of the Cévennes, this will double to around 100mm. 

During the evening, the worst of the rain will subside, although there will still be showers in the Rhône valley and south-east.

The conditions are being caused by cold winds blowing into France from the Atlantic and bringing storms and rain throughout the rest of the week in both the north and south.

Severe storms and heavy rain hit Normandy and the capital region over the weekend and Monday morning, leading to flooded roads and even submerged cars. 

Read more: PHOTOS: Cars submerged as violent storms hit France - alerts continue

Storms bring joy and fear to Pyrénées

Near Perpignan, the storms will begin again on Wednesday (May 15) afternoon, becoming more powerful on Thursday (May 16). 

The arrival is both a blessing and a curse for the area.

On one hand, it will be the second period of heavy rainfall to hit the area in the past few weeks, continuing to replenish local water reservoirs. In turn, this will lessen the severity of expected summer droughts and potentially bring annual rainfall to average levels. 

On the other hand, severe storms may affect the passage of the Olympic Torch through the Pyrénées-Orientales department on Wednesday.

It may also affect parts of the route on Thursday (May 16) when it makes its way northwards to the medieval fortress town of Carcassonne. 

Read more: Olympic torch now in France: see its route around country

The flame is designed to be resistant to most weather conditions, and should not be extinguished even by heavy rains. In the worst case scenario back-up torches – also lit in Greece – will be on hand to rekindle the iconic symbol.

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