Shortly after the Argens River burst its banks, the French weather service issued a statement on Thursday warning that “extensive flooding is possible” in the Var department of Provence.
It was not the only one.
Heavy-rain warnings were also issued for already-soaked areas in Italy, Slovenia, Austria and Switzerland, while winds of more than 120 kilometres per hour were forecast in the Bavarian Alps, in southern Germany.
A huge area of low pressure created near-hurricane conditions in parts of the western Mediterranean, during Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, causing damage in many countries.
For over 11 hours on Monday, winds exceeding 100km/h blew over the island of Corsica. Peak gusts of over 180km/h smashed yachts into the rocks.
The wind roared eastwards to the coast of Italy and focussed on the Bay of Genoa. In Rapallo harbour, yachts were destroyed – dashed against the rocks or sea wall by the wind – amid five-metre high waves.
Throughout Italy, violent winds and heavy rain, with the consequent landslides, caused at least 11 deaths. At least 300 trees were blown in the centre of the capital, Rome.
In Switzerland, the rain persisted for three days, during which twice the October average was dropped: 404mm fell in Mosgno, near Lake Maggiore – the lake itself rose by one metre.
Austria and Slovenia had similar amounts of rain. Up in the mountains, over half a metre of snow was recorded in Curaglia, an amount typifying what appeared throughout the southern Alps.
Having churned for three days, Storm Adrian – as it was named – moved quickly north across Europe and appeared in the North Sea, inducing a strong and cold northeast wind, with rain, to eastern England and Northern France – an unusual lifeline for an unusually damaging storm.