By Eric Leister, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 19,2017, 9:09:49AM,EDT
Following a week with very few weather impacts, rain and thunderstorms could play a major factor in the final stages of the Tour de France this week.
Stages 18 and 19 will take place in southeastern France with each stage taking the cyclists on ride through the French Alps.
Heat will not be a factor on Thursday with temperatures ranging from 15 C (59 F) near the passes to 23 C (73 F) in the valleys.
Widespread rain and thunderstorms will threaten the stage from start to finish.
Blinding downpours and frequent lighting will be the biggest threats to both riders and spectators.
The rainfall will create slick conditions on already difficult stages requiring even more skill and strategy.
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As the cyclists venture back into the lower elevations of southern France during Stage 19 on Friday, they will encounter steamy conditions with increased humidity and temperatures over 32 C (90 F).
This heat and humidity will remain quite high for Saturday’s time trail in Marseille with temperatures near 32 C (90 F); however, the threat for rainfall will come to an end as sunshine returns.
Cooler conditions are expected for the final stage on Sunday in Paris with a high temperature of 24 C (75 F) amid partial sunshine and the chance for a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon.