French forecaster Météo France has released its latest weather trends outlook, with predictions for May, June, and July 2023.
These include how hot, dry, or ‘normal’ the weather will be over the next three months.
Overall, it said the weather was likely to be “warmer than normal…for the whole of France…in line with the effects of climate change”.
It said that the El Niño phenomenon - which is a warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific - is looking likely, and will bring “significant changes in the global climate system”. This could bring hotter-than-average temperatures, it said.
Predicted scenarios for temperatures include:
50% probability of a season hotter than normal
30% a normal season
20% a colder season
It has not yet come to a conclusion about whether the season will be rainier or drier than usual. It said that currently the probability was split 33% each way for rainier, normal, or drier.
Météo France produces a three-month forecast every month. While this does not predict weather on a day-to-day basis, it can identify the probability of trends at European level.
Such types of forecast can only consider regions of the earth at least 1,000km2. They use averages and probability to make general predictions.
Météo France explained that every month, it examines the state of the global climate, including observations from the oceans, atmosphere and sea ice. It then analyses the results from different seasonal models and predictions.
Climatologists begin by observing the temperatures of tropical oceans (on the surface and in the deep). Anomalies in ocean temperature can often be the most determining element in this kind of forecasting, it said. For example, the El Niño phenomena can have a global effect.
The experts then look at 14 different scenarios of global seasonal predictions, including Météo France’s MultiModèle, which is produced by the European Copernicus programme.
Long-term forecasts can be particularly helpful near the Equator, said Météo France, because the reliability of predictions in these areas is higher. They are also considered reasonably reliable for the American continent, West Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
They can help inform weather-sensitive details like energy, water resources, tourism, and farming. In France, they provide insight into factors like the management of the Seine, to evaluate the flow of the river and any possible risks of flooding.
Record drought and heat
Météo France’s latest predictions come amid record levels of drought in France after very low rainfall (especially at the start of the year), and scorching temperatures last summer.
Some water restrictions are already in place, predominantly in the south of the country.
You can check the drought alert level in your area, and any possible restrictions in force, at the government’s Propluvia website here.