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Winter is coming: Temperatures in France to plummet this weekend as Arctic blast sweeps in

France might have been enjoying an unusually warm autumn so far but all that is set to change this weekend, with the possibility of snow at low altitudes and temperatures plummeting across the whole of the country due to an icy blast from the Arctic.

It might seem like only yesterday that you were basking in the warm glow of France's Indian summer but all that is about to change.

On Friday, rain will come pouring down and temperatures will plummet across France, according to national weather agency Meteo France.

Temperatures are expected to drop 3C to 7C below the seasonal norm and will be comparable to those of November or December.

Weather forecast for Saturday afternoon. Photo: Meteo France

In Paris on Friday the mercury is set to drop to a chilly 11C and there will be rain.

On Saturday the mercury will stay between 5C and 12C, with rain and cloud predicted across the entire eastern half of the country.

Weather forecast for early hours of Sunday morning. Photo: Meteo France

And on Sunday, the temperatures will remain low, with frost set to hit the Massif Central right up to the north east.

Rain is expected all over France and the drop in temperature could see the return of snow at low altitudes as well as in the Pyrenees and the Alps.

Snow could also hit the departments of Cantal and Puy-de-Dôme, according to the national weather agency.

#Neige : elle va faire son retour dès samedi et tombera de plus en plus bas dimanche et lundi. Plus de 30 cm en altitude et probablement de la neige au sol jusquà 700 m sur lensemble des reliefs. Giboulées possibles jusquen plaine lundi dans le Nord-Est https://t.co/LurtDG8MeE pic.twitter.com/eabPY2F474

— Agate Météo (@AgateMeteo) October 23, 2018

So, why are temperatures set to drop so sharply?

The frosty temperatures expected to hit France this weekend are all down to a blast of icy air from the sea around the Arctic.

"From Friday, a cold air mass of maritime polar origin will flow through the Channel and hit the whole country during the day on Saturday.

"Temperatures will drop dramatically, with rain and even snow at low altitudes on all mountain ranges on Sunday," said Meteo France.

Coup de #froid ce week-end / invasion d'une masse d'air polaire maritime sur la France : l'air qui sera dimanche 28/10 au soir sur le #PaysBasque est actuellement situé dans l'#Arctique, pas loin du Svalbard.

rétro-trajectoire NOAA HYSPLIT basée sur le run GFS de ce 23/10 12UTC pic.twitter.com/3XF45Ufr77

— Etienne Kapikian (@EKMeteo) October 23, 2018

But there's no need to panic, this cold, wet episode is not expected to last, with the mercury set to go up slightly next week.

Original Article