Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/13 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/13 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/13 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/13 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/11 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/11 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/13 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/13 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/11 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/13 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/11 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/11 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Environment

Stormy May brings record lightning to France

media The Eiffel Tower and Paris's La Défense business district under heavy clouds at sunset on Wednesday AFP

France has has an electrically charged month of May, with the highest number of lightning flashes for the time of year since records began. Storms have wreaked vineyards, flooded towns and damaged cars and homes this month.

Mainland France has been hit by 155,000 lightning flashes since the beginning of May, the highest number for the month since records began in 2000.

The previous record was 84,000 in May 2009.

The storms that have drenched the French would not be exceptional in August, weather watchers say, but they have arrived exceptionally early this year, due to a combination of humidity and low-lying hot air with cold air above it.

Lightning over the Eiffel Tower on 28 May

And they have caused damage to crops and property:

  • 7,100 hectares of vines - five percent of the vineyards - were hit by storms in Bordeaux;

  • 1,800 hectares of vines were damaged by hail in Champagne;

  • The town of Epinal, in the Champagne region, asked the government to declare a state of natural catastrophe because of heavy flooding;

  • Twelve people were taken to safety in the south-western town of Condom;

  • Cars and house roofs were damaged by hail in Nozeroy, in the Jura, eastern France;

  • A presentation of new security measures at Paris's Eiffel Tower was cancelled because of the weather.

This spring has been exceptional in Europe because the hot weather has been in the north, meaning, for example, that the south-western French city of Toulouse was cooler than Oslo, forecaster Patrick Galois told the AFP news agency.

And, after a brief period of calm Friday and Saturday, the storms are expected to return to France on Sunday and Monday.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.