Hérault returns to orange alert for the risk of rain and flooding this Saturday afternoon. Météo-France placed the department on maximum vigilance between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. for an “active rainstorm episode in the Mediterranean”. The Cévennes are particularly impacted by “not very mobile stormy rains”. “At 2 p.m., we occasionally recorded 400 to 500 mm in the upper cantons of Hérault, and 150 to 170 mm in the Gard Cévennes,” underlines the public body. So the episode ended.

A strong easterly wind will accompany this Mediterranean episode, the first of the season, blowing all day with gusts reaching 70 to 90 km/h from the Camargue to the Var coasts. Gard is also on orange alert. Lozère has been reclassified under yellow vigilance.

Thirty-nine departments – located on the Atlantic coast, the north-eastern quarter as well as a large part of the Mediterranean arc and Corsica – have also been placed on yellow alert for storms or rain and floods.

These episodes of rain “are the consequences of the upwelling of warm and humid air from the Mediterranean which occurs critically from mid-September to mid-December, a period when the sea is warmer, which favors evaporation” , explained Christophe Mirmand, prefect of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (Paca) region, on Friday during a press conference. He stressed that “the resulting floods can be very sudden and very dangerous.”