France ‘abnormally warm’ ahead of imminent cold snap

Record-breaking February temperatures of 24°C and 25°C have been recorded in the south already this month, ahead of a cold snap

France is experiencing record high temperatures for the season, especially in the south, which weather service Météo France has warned is “abnormal” - ahead of a cold snap predicted for this week.

Forecaster François Jobard, of Météo France, told public news source FranceInfo that “an abnormal element has established itself”, making the current season “the second-most mild beginning of winter since records began, so since 1900”.

Since Friday January 31, record-breaking February temperatures of 24°C and 25°C have been recorded in Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz (‎Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Nouvelle-Aquitaine). Temperature records were also broken in Agen (Lot-et-Garonne), Auch (Gers), Carcassonne (Aude), Béziers (Hérault), and Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne).

Mr Jobard said it was “too early to say” whether this would mean winter would remain mild throughout the season, but that so far - for the first two months of December and January - this appeared to be the second-most mild winter on record.

Yet, Météo France has published its forecast for the next trimestre, which predicts temperatures that are slightly higher than average for the season, notwithstanding some cold snaps - including one this week.

Mr Jobard said: “We will continue to see temperatures that are higher than the normal average. This does not rule out several short, colder periods, but the trend will stay mild. After this peak of warmth, we will see a maximum on Monday (February 3), but on Tuesday (February 4) temperatures will cool down noticeably and be closer to normal.”

In the south, temperatures could drop by as much as 12°C by Tuesday, he said.

Meanwhile, five departments in the north-east are on orange alert for flooding, the forecaster said this morning.

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