Snow forecast as France goes back to work

Miserable weather conditions mark the first daily commute of 2021 for many in France

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The new year in France has kicked off in the midst of a cold spell, and snow is forecast over much of the country over the next few days.

A total 90 departments were on yellow alert - the third highest, indicating vigilance may be required - for snow on Monday, even at lower altitudes, as people return to work after the Christmas holiday period.

One department, the Landes, remains on orange alert - Météo-France's second highest weather warning - for flooding.

Some areas of the country have seen snow over the weekend. Sunday night's televised Top 14 rugby match between Clermont and Racing 92 at Stade Marcel Michelin was played amid gentle snowfall, while the beach at Saint-Jean-de-Monts was blanketed earlier in the day.

Accumulations of snow on Monday are expected to be small - a maximum of just two centimetres in the northern half of the country, according to forecasters, but the cold, wintry weather is expected to last for several days.

In the south, show showers are forecast from the Pyrenees to the Alps.

Showers along the Provencal coast in the morning, will move northwards, leading to snow during from the lower Rhône valley to the Gard, and from the west of Provence to the Cévennes.

Those areas that escape snow on Monday will remain grey and cold, Météo-France said, with temperatures climbing no higher than 8C on the south coast, rising to 11C on Corsica, and staying as low as 2C in the northeast.