The snow covered Thursday a thin layer north of France after greatly disrupted transport and blocked many motorists on the roads and highways of the South, where the red alert was raised in the Herault. 19659002] Fifty-six departments, South, West, Central and East of the country, were on alert orange Thursday morning mainly for snow-ice.
From the center west to the south of the Hauts-de -France, the Grand Est and the Alps, the snow is announced and will be followed by "an episode of freezing rain," predicts Météo France. A phenomenon more dangerous than the snow according to the forecaster François Jobard
In Ile-de-France, where one expected between 1 to 3 cm of snow, the prefect of police activated the plan snow-ice and "strongly advises the travel by car "until Thursday 14H00. Heavy traffic is forbidden on the N118 in the Yvelines.
Despite a light snowpack falling in the night, transport Ile de France was little disturbed Thursday morning, except for buses in the departments of Val-de-France. Marne and the Hauts-de-Seine.
– Elected on the street –
In Paris, some thirty elected Parisians decided to spend the night in the street to alert the fate of the homeless. "We can not continue to watch the homeless as if they were a simple element of the decor," said Ali Idelouali, elected (EELV) of Choisy-le-Roi.
In Herault, where the main difficulties were concentrated Wednesday, the snow should be gradually replaced by rain at the end of the night, according to Météo France.
The department is out of the red alert and ironed orange vigil Thursday at 6:00.
Some 1,000 "shipwrecked people" were lodged in 25 open centers to welcome them in the Hérault, including 500 in Gignac located 30 km northwest of Montpellier, told AFP the prefecture. Some 200 gendarmes were mobilized in the department to help them.
Among those shipwrecked are Virginie and her two young children. Blocked for three hours on the A750, they lived a day of "absolute galley" before finding refuge in a gym in Gignac. "We had no information, did not see any police force or gendarmerie and when I called the police, I was referred to the firefighters who told me that they 'were not competent on this issue and it's limited if I did not get bawled for taking the road, "she told AFP.
In Montpellier, trams ran with difficulty and flights were interrupted, as in Biarritz. In Pau, many flights have been canceled.
Due to the red alert, all establishments receiving the public will be closed Thursday in the metropolis of Montpellier: crèches, day nurseries, recreation centers, swimming pools, media libraries , houses for all, halls and markets, town halls.
A rare phenomenon on the plains of the former Languedoc-Roussillon, the snow covered the Place de la Comédie and the Peyrou Park in Montpellier, but also the beach of Palavas-les-Flots, the port of Sète, the Paul Riquet alleys of Béziers or the arenas of Nîmes.
In the Gard, the last cars blocked on the A9 by the snow left in the evening the motorway, said the prefecture. "Given the climatic conditions, the traffic of semi-trailers of goods transport of more than 7.5 tons is prohibited until Thursday 10:00 on the whole of the national roads and departmental", she indicated. 19659002] – Swimmers in Biarritz –
In the Bouches-du-Rhône, the A54 was closed at 6 pm in both directions between Salon-de-Provence and Saint-Martin-de-Crau.  The east wind was blowing in the evening with violent gusts between 100 and 120 km / h on the coast of the Var and eastern Bouches du Rhône, according to Météo France. It should gradually decrease in the morning of Thursday.
On the Toulouse region, the wind "Autan" reached in the evening 111 km / h in Toulouse-Blagnac, 125km / h in the Lauragais and the region of Castres, according to Météo France
In the South-West, the snow episode was also very marked Wednesday morning, especially in the Landes. In Biarritz, bathers had to cross the snowy beach to get into the water. In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, 5 to 10 cm of snow fell by the sea.
A thin film of snow covered the Pilat dune, the highest in Europe (110 meters), at the big surprise of the tourists: "it's really super pretty, yesterday we came to discover the dune under the sun and today to see it under the snow, it is quite unique", ecstasied Antoine.
Météo France is forecasting a spectacular warmth on Thursday in a vast southwestern quarter, with 17 ° C expected in Tarbes and Biarritz.
Still according to the forecast service, the night of Tuesday to Wednesday was the coldest in the world. winter, with minimum temperatures of -10 ° in Lyon, -12 ° C in Metz.
In the north of France, temperatures will also rise Thursday but will remain quite low, barely 1 to 2 ° C Thursday afternoon in Lille, Strasbourg, Mulhouse, temperatures much lower than normal in the season.