A ‘Mediterranean episode’ is expected to hit south-east France, moving in late on Saturday and starting with light showers.

According to forecasters, rain will be heavy on Sunday and last all day. Meteo France has said the rain will be intense, not only because of heavy downpours but because it will last for more than 24 hours.

A particular problem, following heavy precipitation at the start of the week, is that the ground is already sodden and has little capacity to absorb new moisture. This will mean a higher likelihood of avalanches, rockfalls and landslips. High winds and coastal flooding can be expected by Sunday morning.

So far no ‘alerts’ have been issued by the national forecaster, but this could change during Saturday.

The snow level may fall as low as 500 metres by Sunday, and this will also come with a higher likelihood of avalanches.

There may be a period of relative calm at around midday on Sunday but this will be followed be persistent rain later in the afternoon. Total rainfall for the weekend is likely to be between 70 and 120mm, forecasters warn.

FILE PHOTO: Monaco under a cloud, as seen from Seborga