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

Rain is set to fall across all of country this week, with more than 100mm in some areas

Cars were almost completely underwater in parts of Normandy
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Update: Heightened warnings in the Calvados department for river flooding have been extended to include Tuesday (May 14). The river Dives is primarily affected by the alerts.

Violent storms have left roads flooded and even cars submerged in water across much of northern France as the sunshine of the weekend disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived.

Storms moving eastward from the English Channel hit northern France on Sunday causing chaos.

One department (Calvados) remains on a heightened orange alert for river flooding this morning (Monday May 13), with nearly 40 others on a tier-two yellow warning for storms, flooding, or strong winds.

In some streets in the department, water levels temporarily reached 80cm high, as heavy rain continued.

In Saint-Pierre-en-Auge, mudslides also hit roads, closing some schools.

Read more: What action is advised with different Météo France weather warnings 

Storms and rainfall will last throughout the week, touching all areas of France and particularly in the south-west, Cévennes, and eastern areas around the Rhône. 

More than 100mm of rain is predicted to fall across parts of the Massif Central, and in the north around Paris up to 40mm will fall before Sunday.

Storms are also predicted towards the end of the week in the areas listed above.

The rapid shift in weather is due to cold wind patterns moving in from the Atlantic, bringing not only rain and storms but cold winds. 

These winds will bring temperatures down to slightly below average throughout most places.

Read more: How do I make insurance claim after weather damage to French home?

Violent storms leave cars submerged

The arrival of the storms in the north brought torrential downpours to a number of departments in Normandy, Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France, affecting drivers in particular.

Read more: Storms in France: what to do if at home, out walking or in car

In Paris, hail fell alongside the rain, and impressive streaks of lightning were captured in the evening sky.

The worst of the storms were in Calvados and Eure (Normandy) where more than 50mm of rain fell in a couple of hours during the afternoon.

Some streets were flooded so severely that water levels reached car windows. 

No rain is predicted in the north today, however in the west and south-west some rain and potentially storms are expected. 

However, some trains in the region, particularly those between Mézidon-Canon and Argentan, are not running Monday morning. 

The rain will return to Normandy by Wednesday (May 15), with fears that water levels may not have time to recede before the next downpours, increasing the risk of river flooding. 

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

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