Ice returns to Pic du Midi after record 108 days

Negative temperatures have returned to the Pic du Midi de Bigorre mountain in the Hautes-Pyrénées, after a record 108 days in positive figures, forecasters have said.

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On Sunday this week (the night of September 30 to October 1), forecasters Météo France recorded negative temperatures at the 2,870 metre peak for the first time since June 14.

That represents a record-breaking 108 consecutive days without negative temperatures, ice or snow on the mountain. The previous record was 77 days, recorded in 1999.

Temperature records for the peak have been kept since 1882.

A statement from Météo France said: “In the night [of Sunday], we went down to -2.4°C, towards 5h. At that point, the temperature stabilised at -1°C.”

Dominique Vrécourt, a climatologist at Météo France, said that the record-breaking conditions were due to “natural variations in climate”, even though they should be taken in context of a “background of a wider trend” of rising global temperatures.

He said: “It is this uninterrupted element [in the temperature readings] that is so spectacular.”

Temperatures at the peak are to continue dropping, Météo France predicted, and are expected to reach around -5°C overnight for “the coldest part of the week”.

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