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35.9C: hottest ever October in France, now a drop before rise again

Rainfall now brings a reprieve in many areas but it is not expected to last

A (temporary) return to usual autumn weather is expected today after record temperatures yesterday Pic: Kichigin / Shutterstock

The absolute heat record for October in France was smashed by more than 1C yesterday (October 2) with almost 36C recorded in south-west France. 

Once again, hundreds of towns and villages experienced never before seen temperatures for October as extremely warm weather came with anticyclone winds from the Atlantic.

Today (October 3) temperatures will fall by up to 12C across most of the country except in Provence where they could still reach above 30C. There will be rain in much of the north and east. 

Temperatures will climb again on Wednesday, particularly in the centre and south-west but will not reach the highs recorded at the start of the month. 

Hottest temperature ever recorded in October 

In the south-west, Bégaar (Landes) recorded a temperature of 35.9C in the shade during the afternoon. 

Not only does this far outstrip the previous high of 31.2C in the village but it is also the highest temperature ever recorded in France during October. 

The previous high of 35C was recorded in Ajaccio on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean sea in 1988. 

The previous hottest temperature recorded on continental France was 34.7C, recorded in Dax, also in Landes, in 1985. 

Bégaar’s recording was closely followed by Soorts-Hossegor (Landes) as well as Lagor and Navarrenx (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) with temperatures of 35.8C recorded.

As hot as a July day 

The average temperature across France yesterday was 21.1C, the same as the temperature on a normal July 19 or August 8 in France, said meteorologist Guillaume Séchet.

Yesterday’s heat saw temperatures up to 15C higher than usual, particularly in the south-west and centre of France, but also in parts of the north.

Areas on the Mediterranean coastline were around 5C warmer than usual October recordings.

Read more: ‘Face the reality’: France ‘must prepare’ for +4C global warming

Rainfall to bring weather down - for a while

With the exception of the Rhône and south-east, temperatures are set to drop by as much as 12C today compared to yesterday, although over 20C could still be recorded in Tours, Bordeaux, Nantes, and La Rochelle, and up to 24C in Alsace. 

There are some tier-two yellow warnings in place for strong winds in the east on the Météo France website, yet these will pass by Wednesday morning.

In the south-east, temperatures will continue to remain mostly unaffected by the weather patterns hitting the rest of France, although it is still warmer than usual along the Riviera. 

Highs of up to 31C in Draguignan and 30C in Grasse could be seen in the Alpes-Maritimes, and at 06:30 it was 21C in Menton. 

Wednesday will see a return to the unseasonably warm weather, however, despite cloudy skies persisting north of the Loire. 

By the weekend (October 7 and 8) another blast of warm weather is predicted to see temperatures of around 30C again across most of the country, particularly the centre and south-west. 

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