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Weather: record high temperatures across France for the end of 2021

Southwestern areas are seeing temperatures of up to 20°C today, while the average for this time of year in France is approximately 5°C

Parts of southwestern France are seeing temperatures of up to 20°C today Pic: Iakov Kalinin / Shutterstock

The final week of 2021 has seen surprisingly high temperatures in France, especially at night time. 

During the night of Wednesday into Thursday (December 29-30), temperatures of 13°C were recorded in Beauvais (Picardie) and Metz (Moselle), with 12.4°C in Besançon (Doubs). 

“We currently have a mass of subtropical air present over North Africa and considering the position of the anticyclone, winds are curling in a clockwise direction, bringing very warm air towards France,” journalist Chloé Nabédian told Franceinfo

This week of December 24-31 may be the warmest ever recorded; normally, average temperatures sit around 5°C at this time of year, but in 2021 they have climbed to 10.5°C. 

French weather service Météo France has said that this could be the warmest Christmas and New Year week since 1947.

Today (December 31), temperatures are in double figures across France, reaching 20°C in Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrénées). Overnight, Biarritz is set to enjoy temperatures of up to 15°C according to Météo France’s latest forecast. 

Is this because of climate change? 

Météo France has said that extremely mild temperatures around New Year are normally associated with variable weather systems, but that more and more warm spells are being recorded while cold snaps become rarer. 

Among the 20 warmest final New Year weeks on record since 1947, eight occurred in the 21st century: in 2002, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. 

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