Weather alert: late snowfall on the plains

TO Cyril BONNEFOY, meteorologist

Snow alert: late snowfall on the plains

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From Thursday, March 31st at 10:00 pm to Friday, April 1st at 6:00 pm.


After a week marked by mild and dry weather, there is noticeable degradation this Thursday evening due to rain and snow. Indeed, the depression in the Benelux deepens at the end of the day and brings very cold air from above to its western flank. Thus, after an unsteady day with heavy rains, even snow on the edge of the English Channel, a snowy episode down to the plain suits the Hauts-de-France. This episode then shifts to next night and tomorrow Friday, towards Normandy and the Paris Basin. Since this snow falls mainly at night and in the morning in these regions, ground resistance is expected in the units on duty. However, there are uncertainties. Grip with the ground will be non-uniform and will depend on the intensity of precipitation and temperature. Snowfall can also be observed in the border agencies, but with difficult holding of the territory. On Friday, the snowfall will slide towards the Massif Central. Note that these snowfalls will be accompanied by strong northeasterly winds, which will increase the feeling of cold and may form snowdrifts.
Although with a gradual fading, this episode will continue on Saturday from the Pyrenees to the north-eastern regions.


The event has not started yet.



After an unstable day of rain and snow showers north of the Loire, a new disturbance reached Hauts-de-France from 22:00 with moderate snowfall and increased northerly winds gusting between 60 and 70 km/h. Driving conditions may be difficult in places with limited visibility. The snow at first sticks to the surface of the plants, but has difficulty holding on to the road network due to the fact that the soil has warmed up from the softness of the last days of spring.


In the middle of the night, a moderate snowfall spread to Upper Normandy and still affected all of Upper France. This heavy, sleet can then start to cling to some rough roads. Then the traffic conditions on the secondary network may become more difficult, in particular, due to strong winds causing the formation of snowdrifts.
Around 3 am, these snowfalls spread to the Île-de-France, while maintaining their moderate character. This snow struggles to hold on to the east of the region but starts to cling to some surfaces in the west (Yvelines and Val d’Oise).
At the end of the night, the heaviest snowfalls extend from Upper France to Upper Normandy. The waterfall below on the Île de France.

The critical period begins in the early morning, during a period of heavy traffic, which can cause problems in travel. Snowfalls continue along the same axis of Hauts-de-France – west of Ile-de-France and Normandy. Accumulations of a few centimeters, combined with the risk of snowdrifts, can make driving difficult on a mostly secondary network. Visibility is sometimes reduced due to strong winds and heavy snowfall. Please note that there will likely be large variations in ground snow cover depending on air temperature, ground temperature and snowfall intensity.
In the afternoon, snowfall spread to the Center-Val-de-Loire and to the west of Burgundy. Land retention on the plains in these regions is more precarious due to the sometimes positive temperatures.

Snowfall gradually eases north of the Loire, but intensifies towards the Massif Central. Thus, traffic conditions in the Auvergne become difficult, especially at an altitude of more than 300-400 meters above sea level. Traffic difficulties should especially affect the A89 and A75 motorways. Elsewhere, snow tends to melt due to positive temperatures. In this context, it is recommended to be wary of possible frosts and the risk of ice the next night.
Please note that this press release will evolve with the addition of departments from the Central East region to the Pyrenees due to expected snowfall on Friday night to Saturday.

On the episode we’re waiting :

– Hauts-de-France: 3-7 cm, in places 10 cm on the highest plateaus of Picardy and the hills of Artois.
– Upper Normandy, west of the Paris Basin: 2 to 5 cm.
– Little Parisian crown: does not stick noticeably on the ground, especially in the city.
– Center-Val de Loire and western Burgundy: 1 to 3 cm.
– west of the central part of the massif: from 3 to 5 cm, up to 15 cm above 1000 m.

List of interested departments

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