Temperatures in France are set to drop to below seasonal averages this week, especially in the north of the country, after a relatively mild November.
The arrival of an anticyclone weather pattern from Russia is to plunge temperatures under the average for the season with a “moderate cooling down,” said national meteorological service Météo France.
In the north of France, maximums could “be just 2-7C on Saturday, December 3, with numbers that are on average three degrees under the norms for the season”, the forecaster said.
Another forecaster, La Chaîne Météo, said that the cold was also being seen across Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. It is set to hit France and the UK by the weekend, it added.
L'arrivée du #froid est confirmée dès demain. Vendredi sera la journée la +froide dans un 1er temps. Les #températures seront de -2 à -3°C sous les moyennes de jeudi à samedi. Cette tendance froide pourrait se prolonger toute la semaine prochaine ❄️ pic.twitter.com/MCJJuWLqO9— La Chaîne Météo (@lachainemeteo) November 29, 2022
On Thursday afternoon (December 1) in the north and centre of France, temperatures will hover around 6-7C, with a minimum of 3C in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin).
But by Friday and Saturday (December 2-3), the mercury is set to drop to as low as -2.5C to -3C in some places.
Météo France said: “The cold will make itself known this weekend, with some freezing that could spread over the northern half of the country.”
Le #froid est présent sur l'#Europe de l'Est et la Scandinavie. Il progressera vers la France et les îles britanniques d'ici au weekend. La semaine prochaine risque de marquer un conflit de masse d'air avec l'air doux qui aura tendance à remonter d'Espagne ️ pic.twitter.com/XDArf3aGNw— La Chaîne Météo (@lachainemeteo) November 29, 2022
In contrast, in the south of France, the drop in the maximum temperatures will be less marked, and may change between Thursday and Sunday, La Chaîne Météo added.
Does this count as a real cold snap?
Forecasters are not calling the cold temperatures an official ‘cold wave’ (vague de froid).
Météo France explained: “For an episode to be recognised on a national scale, the national average temperature must descend at least below -2C for at least one day.”
More cold ahead?
Forecasts for next week remain uncertain.
However, Météo France said that the temperatures are likely to “remain slightly under the seasonal values for the north and close to normal for December in the south”.
“At this stage, there are a number of uncertainties, but the most probable scenario is that it will be milder in the south and west, and getting milder on Sunday [and] establishing this [mild] pattern next week.”
This will be due to rising warm air from Spain, it said.