This New Year’s Eve could be the warmest since records began in France, concluding a very warm year, national forecaster Météo France has said.
December 31 is set to be “excessively warm”, with highs of up to 23C in Dax (Landes) and 16C in Paris. This will also be the average high across the rest of the northern half of France, while in the south it might get up to 18C.
“We will definitely have the warmest December 31 since records began in 1947,” Météo France forecaster Frédéric Nathan told Le Monde.
Temperatures are expected to be around 8C higher than the seasonal average, which has only happened three times in the past 75 years.
Christmas was also abnormally warm, with December 24 and 25 being the mildest ever recorded in France.
However, the cold spell that France experienced at the beginning of this month means that until Tuesday (December 27), this December did not appear to be warmer than usual on average.
This weekend’s warm weather will change this, and lead into a January which is also set to be very mild to start.
At the end of November, Météo France announced that 2022 would be the hottest ever recorded in the country, overtaking the previous record set in 2020.
This summer was marked by a long-lasting drought, several heatwaves, and the breaking of temperature records.
#NouvelAn Cette Saint-Sylvestre devrait être la plus douce jamais observée à l'échelle du pays depuis 1947 venant clôturer de façon symbolique, une année 2022 la plus chaude jamais enregistrée en France.— Météo-France (@meteofrance) December 29, 2022
Why is the weather mild now?
This weekend’s warm weather is being caused by a hot air mass moving up from the south, being pushed upwards by an area of low pressure over the Atlantic Ocean.
“When there are zones of low pressure over England, Portugal or the Azores, it pushes winds from Africa towards Spain and France,” Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace researcher Davide Faranda told Le Monde.
Climate change has already caused the world to warm up by 1.2C, which means that subtropical air arriving in France is hotter than it would have been a few years ago.
Although warmer winter temperatures are generally pleasant for people, they can affect biodiversity and vegetation cycles, having a negative impact on forests and agriculture.
It also threatens businesses such as ski resorts; Les Domaines skiables de France announced on Tuesday that half of all pistes were closed because of a lack of snow, especially at lower altitudes.
Heavy rain and flooding alerts for Brittany departments
Holidays are ending but France’s winter fun is hopefully just starting
‘Noël au balcon, Pâques au tison’: Our French expression of the week