This Wednesday afternoon, Meteo France has extended the orange alert for snow and ice to 58 departments, including the entire Western part of the country. Thursday, up to 20 cm are expected.
After the cold, it is now replaced with snow flakes. This Wednesday 28th February, Meteo France has extended the orange alert for snow and ice to 58 departments. By mid-day, 47 of them were concerned, and vigilance is now affecting the East.
— The-best-man-57 (@The_best_man_57) February 28, 2018
In the morning, only a few departments in the south of France were affected with a marked snowy Mediterranean episode on the South-East, and heavy snowfall in the South-West , but the disturbance from Spain began to rise towards the North.
The snow is expected in the afternoon, from Nantes to Strasbourg via Paris. Calls to firefighters multiplied early in the morning in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques and the Landes, for many accidents, “the sheet crumpled mainly”, according to the relief.
The Sanef and Sapn motorway network (Normandy, Hauts-de-France and Grand-Est) also advises its customers to “postpone their trips, if possible”.
Up to 20 cm of snow expected Thursday
Almost all access to the A64 motorway (Bayonne-Toulouse) and the A63 (Spain-Bordeaux) were closed early to the circulation of heavy goods vehicles, by prefectural decrees, then also to cars, in the carrying portions. on the departments of Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Landes.
In the Aveyron, the prefecture predicts sticky snowfall above 900 m. The expected layer of snow is 15 to 20 cm by Thursday morning . The autan wind should rise from Wednesday morning and continue until Thursday, with gusts of 70 to 100 km/h.
This wind of autan should gradually strengthen Wednesday in Haute-Garonne, the strongest gusts will occur in the afternoon and will continue until early next night, reaching about 100 km / h in the plain of Toulouse and 120 at 130 km/h on the slopes of Lauragais and Black Mountain.
Wednesday morning, the snow fell in Toulouse and Montpellier, where a thin white layer covering roofs, parks and sidewalks, as in Ales (Gard).
Large accumulations are expected, even at low altitude on the north of the Hérault, and the west of the Gard with 20 to 40 cm of snow at the end of the day.
In Nice, sprinkled with snow Monday, the thermometer did not exceed 1 ° C at sunrise Wednesday. Only a few irreducibles had braved the cold to make their morning jog on the Promenade des Anglais. New snowfall is expected in the day on the department.
In the Nice hinterland, temperatures remained cold in the stations (- 16 ° C in Isola 2000) and special equipment was mandatory from 500 m altitude in some valleys and the ice storm spread over the entire road network .
The coldest night
According to Météo-France, the night of Tuesday to Wednesday was the coldest of the winter on a vast third north-east of France with minimum temperatures of -10 ° in Lyon, -12 ° C in Metz.
For the authorities, in addition to people with fragile health, the priority remains the sheltering of people living on the street.
After a month of historically mild January and a snowy beginning of February, this episode of cold is striking because of its late character. France had not experienced such a cold spell at this time of year since 2005. Called “Moscow-Paris”, it has made more than twenty deaths in Europe since Friday.