The departments for which orange vigilance is maintained on Wednesday are Hérault, Gard, Vaucluse, Bouches-du-Rhône and Var.

During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, thunderstorms, sometimes accompanied by heavy rain, have already swept the South-East from west to east, from Aude to Var, but no significant damage was recorded, according to the services of relief interviewed by AFP. Orange vigilance was lifted overnight for Aude, Tarn and Aveyron.

“The night was calm, we had no significant intervention,” said the Gard firefighters. Same echo in Hérault and Bouches-du-Rhône in the early morning, although the rains were heavy in Montpellier and Marseille and the sky streaked with lightning.

“These storms give showers of the order of 20 to 40 mm in less than an hour” and some peaks were recorded with 75 mm of rain in Montarnaud and 97 mm in Puechabon, two towns near Montpellier, said Météo -France. The wind also blew hard with 103 kilometers in the town of Aigues-Mortes in the Camargue.

“The storms continue their way eastward and cross the Var. These storms can be violent with strong rainfall intensities, locally reaching 80 mm in a short time, with hail, and strong gusts of wind. are also possible in coastal areas”, said Météo-France in its 06:00 bulletin.

The meteorological institute does not qualify these summer storms as a “Mediterranean” episode at this stage.

“The Mediterranean episode is when we start to have stationary cells which give strong accumulations of rain (…) from thresholds of 100 mm locally”, explained during a press briefing Frédéric Nathan, forecaster from Météo-France, describing the current episode as “fairly classic”.

The authorities of the South-East departments in orange vigilance reminded the population to postpone any trip or, at the very least, to find out about the weather before hitting the road. “30 cm of water is enough to carry a car”, recalls the Var prefecture in a press release. It is also strictly inadvisable to stay close to watercourses or to take shelter under a tree.

Showers will also increase on Wednesday over the hours from Pays de la Loire to the Belgian border, accompanied by thunderstorms. On the eastern flank, from the middle Rhône valley to the North-East, there will be numerous stormy showers which could give rise to marked thunderclaps and hail locally in the Center-East.

The showers that appeared in the morning from the South-West to the Paris region will be more numerous than in the morning on the Aquitaine coast and will take on a stormy aspect from Limousin to the Center, which can be sustained at times.