Weather alert: thunderstorms, hail, dripping rain… 5 departments, all located in Occitania, placed on orange alert

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A violent stormy episode hit Languedoc on Sunday August 14th. Should we expect similar events in the region for the rest of the week and what can be the consequences? La Dépêche du midi takes stock.

She had been expected for several weeks, she comes back with a bang. Lrain, accompanied by violent thunderstorms, should fall this Tuesday, August 16 in Occitania. Météo France has thus placed 5 departments on orange alert for storms, all located in Occitania. This orange vigilance alert concerns Aude, Aveyron, Gard, Hérault and Tarn. The episode is due to start in the afternoon and runs until at least 6 a.m. Wednesday. All the other departments of the country are on yellow alert.

The Midi Dispatch takes stock with Jean-Frédéric Bondet, in charge of weather forecasts at the South-West department of Météo France.

Hail, thunderstorms and rain expected from Tuesday

The end of the day this Tuesday will therefore be marked with a big stormy passage. According to Jean-Frédéric Bondet, “it is expected in the west of the Occitanie regioni.e. the former Midi-Pyrénées region, and possibly east of the Garonne“. Are envisaged “of heavy rainfallof the gusts but also of hail in this area”. And for the rest of the region? Stormy phenomena are also to be expected, but they will be less violent.

From Wednesday and until Thursday, the climate will remain rather unstable. “We are going to have rain which can sometimes be stormy” specifies the specialist. The weather will still be calmer on this second part of the week. From Friday “some morning rains are planned but nothing as violent as Tuesday”.

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The thermometer will also display lower temperatures than what we have experienced before this summer. “Storms allow the atmosphere to be rebalanced and thus to lose a few degrees. Thursdayit will do for example 25C° in Toulouse and 21C° in Saint-Gaudens” details the forecaster. The Sunhe will make his back this weekend.

Unfavorable rain on the ground due to drought

The problem with this type of thunderstorm is that it can do damage. “Currently, it is too early to predict where and when there will be consequences of these bad weather. But there will be” says Jean-Frédéric Bondet.

The forecaster’s greatest fear is the risk of hail which very often has a destructive action on landscapes. “There is a high probability for some areas to experience hail. Most of the time, it’s more destructive than beneficial, so we’re not very optimistic about the damage.”

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VIDEO. Drought: understand in a video why dry soil can cause flooding in the event of heavy rain

If the rain is always welcome in this period of drought, the water will settle on particularly arid soils. Strong accumulations that fall on very dry ground cannot be absorbed: this is called the runoff. The fact that the episode “is very strong and punctual, is absolutely not beneficial, because the water does not enter the earth. It is better to have lasting and less intense rains which allow real humidification” explains the specialist who points to the risk of flooding, like what Montpellier and its surroundings suffered last weekend.


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