Snow: where will it fall this weekend?

TO Regis CREPE, meteorologist

With a sharp drop in temperatures expected from Thursday, snow will fall again in France. It could fall quite abundantly on our mountain ranges at a very low altitude and remarkably appear on the plain on the morning of Friday, April 1st. While there is still limited confidence in the level of this risk to date, here are the regions that are most prone to snowfall later in the week.

It may look like an April Fool’s joke, but nevertheless it is a possibility: with the arrival of cold weather in France, a rainy-snowy episode, that is, a combination of rain and snow, will affect our country from Thursday morning, progressing more and more. less quickly south. The cooling of the air mass will be significant enough for snow to fall on the plains. Its adhesion to the ground has not yet been acquired and will depend on the intensity of degradation, the time of day when the snow falls, and especially the height. Despite doubts about the exact development of the situation in the northern third of the country, it seems quite likely that the areas stretching from the Limousin to the Massif Central and Central East will experience a white awakening on Friday morning with possibly difficult traffic. from a height of 400 m.

Difficult weather conditions

If the weather scenario proposed below describes the one that seems to us the most probable today, then it should be borne in mind that the weather changes that contribute to snowfall on the plains are complex due to the always possible displacement of depressions and disturbances that cause the evolution of weather and temperature levels . Within two degrees, snow sticks to the ground or melts. As for the upcoming episode, doubts still remain. Thus, some of the numerical models used to develop forecasts include a snow episode that would be visible over the Paris Basin, while others do not. Therefore, we must keep a close eye on our next updates.

Snow coming from the north on Thursday

The weather in France will begin to change drastically from Thursday morning north of the Loire when a cold northeasterly wind blows straight out of Scandinavia. Cooling will be fast. As a result, it could rain and snow north of the Seine on Thursday morning. It is even possible that these first snows of this episode will temporarily linger on the ground in the Picardy plateau and Boulogne hills before melting during the day when temperatures are still positive.

Chance of snow in Ile-de-France Thursday evening and night

During the day on Thursday, when temperatures do not exceed 5°-6°C north of the Seine, there will be rain mixed with snow before moving towards the Paris Basin. They could reach island of france in the late afternoon in the north of the region. Then, as temperatures drop from Thursday night to Friday, snowflakes could replace rain between the Oise, Paris and Orléans. In the capital, the snow would have melted without holding onto the ground, but it is possible that the plateaus turn white overnight, especially towards the Center district. A few centimeters are already provided, but today it is difficult to indicate how much the quantities provided by the models diverge. In these regions, the snow will stop overnight, but may continue until the morning, when then the landscapes may have turned white.

Increased risk of snowfall in central regions

This episode could be more noticeable in the central regions on the night of Thursday to Friday. Snow can replace rain between the Central Region and Limousin, from the plains, but even more so at an altitude of 300 to 400 m (foothills of Limousin and Auvergne) with a snowy landscape on Friday morning. A few inches of snow is likely to cover the landscape on Friday morning in a very cold atmosphere with a northerly wind. There is a chance that snow will move further east and also fall between the Loire, Lyon and Burgundy on Friday morning.

White Friday morning between Limousin and the Central East.

These regions should not escape the snow on Friday morning with the advance of cold air into the south of France. Cold and snowy weather will then spread from the Midi-Pyrenees region south of the Massif Central and the Alps, passing through the middle Rhone valley and Lyon. Snow can stick to the ground at an altitude of 400 to 500 m, which can change driving conditions, especially on the plateau (Lozère, Haute-Loire, Aveyron, Cantal) and also in the Alpine departments. The lower mountain will then experience a notable winter episode, which was rare this winter. As such, it may snow until Saturday morning between Auvergne east and the Alps, with the exception of the southern Alps, which will be subject to strong northerly winds. Snow during this period will also fall in the Pyrenees, also from a height of 400 m, which is very little, especially for the season.

Finally, we recall that the reliability of this evolution has yet to be confirmed in the regions described above. So much the onset of a cold is being acquired as the areas that will be covered in snow have yet to be clarified. However, reliability is higher if snow falls between the Limousin, Massif Central and the Alps, while in border areas such as the Paris Basin there is uncertainty about the occurrence of these snowfalls. On the other hand, even if snow appears on these flat areas, it would be premature to indicate its thickness on the ground today.

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