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Flooding rain, damaging winds aim for France into Saturday

By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
February 14, 2016, 5:42:31 AM EST

Storms will take aim at France into the first half of the weekend, returning the danger of flooding rain and damaging winds.

Instead of targeting the United Kingdom, storms will track back-to-back into western Europe into this weekend.

All of the storms will contribute to slower travel and hazards, but the storm on Saturday will be more potent than the others and produce a period of damaging winds.

The southern coast of Bretagne, western Pays de la Loire and northern Poitou Charente regions of France will face the strongest wind gusts of 95-120 km/h (60-75 mph).


The winds threaten to cause numerous incidents of tree damage and power cuts. Trees that were weakened during Storm Imogen and those that sit in saturated soil will be more susceptible to being brought down during Saturday’s storm.

Drivers of high-sided vehicles will also face dangerous crosswinds, while flight delays are possible.

Seas in the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, especially western areas, will become dangerously rough for boaters and beachgoers.

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“Moderate coastal flooding may develop with the threat greatest along the west-facing coast of the Bay of Biscay,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.

The risk of coastal flooding will be highest with Saturday’s high tide but cannot be ruled out during any high tide into this weekend.

While the strongest winds will gradually subside as Saturday’s storm tracks eastward across France, gusts of 65-80 km/h (40-50 mph) may still lead to sporadic power cuts and tree damage in Strasbourg and Besancon.

Southwestern France will face wind gusts of 80-95 km/h (45-60 mph) on Saturday with more frequent gusts on the higher end of that range to follow at night. This part of France will also deal with bouts of rain through the weekend. Including what fell on Friday, a total of 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) of rain is expected.

Pilot aborts landing at last second because of heavy winds from Storm Imogen


As the ground gets saturated from each round of rain, the risk of localized flash flooding in low-lying and poor-drainage areas will increase. This includes Bordeaux and Pau.

The rain that spreads into southwestern France on Sunday will be associated with the storm that will be taking aim at Spain.

“This will be a colder storm that will lead to snow in the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.

As the storm drops southward, chilly winds will develop across France on Monday.

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