March hits temperature record

Person standing in floaty top greeting the sun streaming into their face
Greeting the warm sun

Thermometer was registering May temperatures most of the month - with the last day like June or July 

Last month was the warmest March since 1900, hitting an average of 11C or 2.3C above the normal.

It equalled the temperature reached in March 1957 and Météo France said that even the coldest days were warmer than the average and the last 10 days had temperatures normally seen in May.

However, warm does not mean dry and Météo France said that it was a ‘well watered’ month although the normal rainy areas of Brittany, Ardennes and Nord were spared.

The previous temperature record of 10.7C was reached in 1948, 1994 and 1997 and March followed a mild February that was 2.5C above normal – although January was a chilly 2C below average temperatures.

The northern part of France reaped especial benefit from the warm month, with record temperatures set at Le Bourget and Villacoublay in Ile-de-France. Le Bourget notched 10.7C – the warmest March since 1920 ­– while Villacoublay was 10.4C against the old record from 1946.

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Dunkirk on the Channel coast reached 10.1C – the warmest since 1917 – and Le Mans at 10.9C was the warmest since 1944.

But the last day of March broke records across the north, with temperatures 7-11C above normal and June or July temperatures last Friday of 23.7C in Paris, 24.4C in Bourg-Saint-Maurice (73), 23.9C in Chartres (28), 23.4C in Rennes (35), 23.1C in Deauville (14) and 22.4C in Cherbourg (50).

Today will see clouds building to rain in the west and spreading to the northern centre of the country by late afternoon and largely sunny across southern parts.

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