Dubbed the “Moscow-Paris” phenomenon, the “cold wave” is the result of intensely cold winds coming to Europe from Siberia. It is expected to settle over France from today, and into next week, said Météo France today (Sunday February 25).
The added “wind chill” factor - how cold it actually feels because of the wind, regardless of actual ground temperature - is expected to make conditions feel as low as -12°C to -18°C, although previous predictions suggested this could even reach -25°C.
Even without the added wind chill, forecaster Météo France has today warned that most of the country will be affected by temperatures of -6°C to -10°C from Monday to Wednesday.
And even Mediterranean areas will feel the chill, with temperatures of between 0°C and -4°C.
Strong wind gusts from the north-east are also expected to intensify conditions, reaching 50kph in the north of the country, and up to 70kph near the English Channel, across Geneva, and the Rhône valley.
This could increase to 80kph by the end of the day today (Sunday).
“These will be the coldest days of winter so far,” confirmed Météo France forecaster Etienne Kapikian, speaking to news source 20 Minutes.
It is still not clear whether the cold temperatures will lead to snow.
However, the conditions do mean that the Grand Froid warning for homeless people will remain in place, mobilising additional shelter places and extra support for those without a place to sleep.
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