Violent thunderstorms brought heavy rain and strong winds to parts of France on August 16, 2022, bringing temporary relief to the drought-stricken country.
A violent storm accompanied by hail and intense lighting circulated last night from the Minervois towards the eastern Hérault department, bringing hourly rainfall in excess of 50 mm (1.96 inches), with 63 mm (2.48 inches) at Montarnaud and 87 mm (3.42 inches) at Puéchabon.
The storms also brought powerful wind gusts to the region, with 104 km/h (64 mph) registered in Aigues Mortes, 108 km/h (67 mph) in Saint-Mandrier, and 116 km/h (72 mph) in Hyères.
A series of thunderstorms hit Paris between 16:45 and 19:15 LT, with up to 47 mm (1.8 inches) of rain measured in the Montsouris park rain gauge, including 16 mm (0.6 inches) in just 12 minutes.
To put this in perspective, in an hour and a half, the area received the equivalent of 80% of the 1991 – 2020 average monthly accumulation for the entire month of August (58 mm / 2.28 inches).1
Winds in excess of 100 km/h (62 mph) were recorded at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Another considerable amount was registered in Cassis, east of Marseille where the weather station recorded 30 mm (1.18 inches) of rain in just 30 minutes.
There were no injuries reported, but public transport was disrupted across the affected regions, including in Paris.
A violent thunderstorm also struck Marseille and the surrounding region overnight Wednesday, August 17, with wind gusts in places reaching almost 150 km/h (93 mph). The highest amount of rainfall was registered at Puéchabon near Montpellier, with 97 mm (3.8 inches) in 60 minutes.2
Bad weather is forecast to continue in parts of the country, especially in its southern regions where more violent storms are forecast toward the end of the week.
While the storms will provide relief to drought-stricken country and help firefighters, this is still not enough to get it out of drought.
A return to hot and dry weather is expected in a couple of days.
1 Des orages encore violents ce mercredi – Meteo France – August 17, 2022
2 Floods in Paris as city hit by ‘near-monthly rainfall in 90 minutes’ – euronews – August 17, 2022
Featured image credit: Clement Parrot (stillshot)
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