France set to shiver as below-seasonal cold spell on way

Predicted temperatures are 1-6C below the seasonal average due to an anticyclone weather pattern

A photo of a large tree with frost, and a frosty-snowy ground, in the winter
The weather is set to be frosty and cold next week, but not quite at the level of an official ‘cold wave’
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Temperatures are set to drop significantly in France from Sunday with predictions placing them at 1-6C below seasonal averages. This is in contrast to the recent mild weather.

From Sunday, February 5 into Monday, February 6, the north and northeast of the country will be the first to feel the cold snap.

An ‘anticyclone’ weather pattern will sit between Brittany and Ireland, bringing a severe frost and greyness to the northeast and centre-east. There will be more sunshine towards the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts but these will in turn be affected by strong seasonal winds.

A weather depression over France from Scandinavia, and travelling towards Germany, will cause cold, Arctic winds to blow over the top part of the country, bringing lower temperatures in the north of France especially.

Bar Corsica and some areas of the South, nowhere in France is expected to see temperatures above 7C on Monday (February 6).

The precise intensity of the cold will depend on the eventual position of the anticyclone and depressions.

Will it be an official ‘cold wave’?

It is too early to call the coming cold snap an official ‘cold wave (vague de froid)’. This is defined as at least three days of consecutive cold weather nationwide, with at least one day having a temperature below -2C.

So far it seems as though this will not be the case. Temperatures will be lower than seasonal averages but are not expected to drop below -0.9C. Forecasters say this is about 70% accurate for the start of the week and 60% accurate for next Wednesday (February 8) onwards.

Temperatures are then expected to rise by the second weekend of the month, remaining close to the norms for the season.

It comes after temperatures in some areas have been relatively mild since mid-late January, and even above the seasonal norms this week with some areas experiencing a peak of 15C.

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