From Monday 26 February, the “Moscow-Paris glacial wave” from north-east Europe, which has already brought severe cold, is expected to bring lower temperatures still, and a wind chill that will make it feel even colder across the Hexagon.
Mountain regions could feel as bitter as -25°C or below, and Paris is predicted to experience temperatures that feel as low as -13°C.
Despite the cold, it is not clear yet if there will be snow anywhere (except in the usual mountain areas).
Conditions are expected to last until at least Friday March 2.
According to Météo France forecaster Olivier Proust, the definition of a “cold wave” is a period of at least three days over which average temperatures drop below 0°C.
This week has seen lower-than-average temperatures, but daytimes have been relatively mild, Proust said.
Next week, in contrast, further wind from north-east Europe and Russia is set to lower temperatures day and night.
The “cold feel”, or "wind chill factor", will be especially apparent. This is the name given to how cold it would feel to stand with your face directly into the wind, and is used by authorities to identify whether to put a Grand Froid warning in place.
This warning, which helps to mobilise homeless shelters and support for people on the streets, has already been enacted this year.
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