81 departments in the south, center and north of France on storm alert

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The majority of French departments are today (September 14) on yellow storm alert, and seven are on orange alert.

These are Gard, Hérault, Tarn, Aveyron, Lot, Haute-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne.

A yellow alert is accompanied by a “moderate risk” of localized thunderstorms, while an orange alert represents a “moderate to high risk” of “heavy rains with surface runoff” and winds between 75 and 100 km / h.

Météo France said the stormy weather was caused by the arrival of “humid and unstable air over most of the country”.

Storms will affect everywhere except the west coast, from Finistère to Vendée, and the south-east of Haute-Savoie to Alpes-Maritimes, Var and Corsica.

Météo France warns that this morning will bring a stormy episode “requiring special vigilance, because there is a real risk of a violent meteorological event”.

Thunderstorms will begin this morning in some areas of the Hérault and Gard, causing 80 to 100 mm of rain in some areas of the departments.

Residents of these areas should also expect strong winds, hail and lightning, and some rail services may be affected.

The storm is expected to ease slightly during the afternoon but will continue until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

In Haute-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne, the storm will start to gain momentum this afternoon, moving eastwards through the Lot, Tarn and Aveyron.

About 30 to 40mm of rain is expected to fall in an hour in some areas, and heavy hailstorms are expected.

Conditions should calm down this evening, but overnight more thunderstorm clouds will move over the Pyrenees, bringing 50mm of rain in an hour to some spots.

The weather should return to normal around 8:00 am Wednesday morning.

Stay safe in a storm

Météo France recommends that, in areas affected by thunderstorms, residents stay away from trees under which they are more likely to be struck by lightning and water bodies that conduct electricity.

The best place to take shelter is in a building like a house, after securing any belongings that may be exposed to wind and rain.

Driving your car is not recommended, but if it cannot be avoided, you should make sure your windows are closed and the radio antenna has been removed.

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