Severe thunderstorms over parts of France

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Supercells over parts of France brought severe thunderstorms, large hail and flash flooding from 7-9 June.

Date & Time
8 June 2014 22:00 UTC–9 June 04:00 UTC
Meteosat-10, Suomi-NPP
Infrared, VIIRS

Many parts of France were on alert for severe storms three days. On the Sunday night (8 June) damaging winds gusting to over 110 km/h and large hailstones battered areas including the Val D’oise department near Paris and Dampierre-en-Burly.

At one point Météo-France put 32 departments in the country’s west and north on orange alert for 'violent' storms with heavy rain, hail, intense lightning activity and strong winds.


Tennis-ball sized hail was reported around the country (Photo credit: Corentin Léger).

It was reported that in the southern Paris suburb of Mormant a secondary school was closed after its roof was damaged by hail and the roof on another property collapsed.


In Depth

by HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland)

Figure 1: Meteosat-10, IR12.0

A moderately active Spanish Plume situation evolved in the night of 8–9 June. Before midnight a cumulonimbus (Cb) cluster, a typical manifestation in the plume, started to grow over the Gironde estuary in south west France.

After midnight the cluster developed an extended anvil with cold-U signatures (MPG, 1 MB).


Figure 2: Meteosat-10/SuomI-NPP (VIIRS)

The night overpass of Suomi-NPP and its VIIRS imager coincided with the most active moment of the cluster. The high-resolution (375 m) image of IR12.0 (I5 band) indicates cloud-top temperature values as low as 190 K.

The IR12.0 image is overlaid with a semi-transparent Day-Night-Band (DNB) signal that shows the city lights of French towns surrounding the anvil as grey blobs, in particular Limoges on far right-hand side of the image.

Most interesting are the four brighter streaks over the anvil. They were caused by cloud illumination from intense lightning activity as the DNB sensor was rapidly scanning northwest to southeast.


See also:

Paris storm (Lorena Bechelli, YouTube)
Supercell over Champagne (Credit: Max Conrad)
48-hours of lightning strikes (Credit: Simon Cardy/
Thunderstorms producing very large hail near Paris, France, (CIMSS Blog)
Huge Hail Pelts Paris as Severe Thunderstorms Erupt in Western Europe (Mashable)
Spanish Plume and satellite imagery (SatManu, click on Conceptual Models)
Previous case studies

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