Three French departments in the south of France, as well as the Principality of Andorra, were placed on orange alert by Météo France from Tuesday morning. Heavy rains are expected.

Météo France has placed Monday the Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Herault and the Principality of Andorra orange alert for thunderstorms, rains and floods from Tuesday morning.

Up to 100 mm of rain in a few hours

The beginning of this "marked rainy-stormy Mediterranean episode" is scheduled at 8 am, with an end "at the earliest on Wednesday at 7 am," said Météo France, noting that it requires "special monitoring because of its intensity and duration ". Rainfall totals "expected over the entire episode are of the order of 100 to 150 mm generalized, locally 200 to 250 mm, even punctually more," added Météo France. The episode will begin Tuesday morning on the Pyrenees and off the coast, then will concern in the morning the three departments. "Thunderstorms will be locally violent", which can generate "strong accumulations of rain of the order of 30 to 50 mm in a short time, 50 to 100 mm in a few hours".

A new intense sequence in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday

"Besides the electrical activity, hail falls and violent gusts of wind are expected," according to Météo France. "After a likely weakening, a new intensive rainy-storm organization is expected on these same departments in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, before the phenomenon fades over the Pyrénées-Orientales and the Aude in the morning of Wednesday.

The Pyrenees-Orientales will also be placed in orange vigilance for "wave submersion", said the prefecture. "The strong swell combined with East winds gusting at 100 km / h will result in a rough sea with strong waves and a possible sea surge," she said in a statement, recommending to the inhabitants "the greatest caution". The prefect, Philippe Chopin, must make a first point of the situation to the press Tuesday at 11 o'clock.