French vineyards to face heavy storms

A huge weather front of rain and hail is expected to make its way into southern France today and continue over the weekend, threatening a repeat of the devastation to French vineyards experienced in recent years.

On the way: Storm clouds forming (Photo: Flickr)

On the way: Storm clouds forming (Photo: Flickr)

The storms are predicted to sweep across wine districts such as Bordeaux and Bourgogne, where many vineyards have been suffering over the past number of years from heavy loses due to freak weather events.

Météo France, the French national weather service, has already issued a total of 26 orange alerts – the second highest warning level – for the regions expected to be worst effected.
An orange alert means a “strong risk of large, flood-causing storms that could have a significant impact on transport and the safety of property and people.”

Météo France said in a press statement that “The weather get significantly worse today, these storms could become violent, and may be accompanied by strong hail and winds.

The service said it expects two sets of storms to build up during the day. The first one will start in the morning near the Atlantic coast and gradually make its way across to the east part of the country. The second one is forecast to form just east of the Pyrenées mid-afternoon, reaching Auvergne, Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne by Friday evening, according to

Vineyards have already been suffering from strong hailstorms this summer, and this is wave of storms at such a crucial time in the winegrowing calendar has the potential for serious disruption.

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