After a disappointing summer, France can look forward to over a week of soaring temperatures which will make September a hotter month than July this year.

"/> After a disappointing summer, France can look forward to over a week of soaring temperatures which will make September a hotter month than July this year.

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WEATHER

France set for warmest September in 25 years

After a disappointing summer, France can look forward to over a week of soaring temperatures which will make September a hotter month than July this year.

France set for warmest September in 25 years
Steven Worster

Temperatures are expected to be 5 or 6 degrees above the seasonal norm, with highs of 27˚C in the north of the country and 29˚C in the south later this week.

Newspaper France Soir reported that a strong anticyclone over central Europe was bringing warm air from the south.

By September 24th, average temperatures in France for the month had reached 18.9˚C. This was the same as the average for the whole of July, which was the coldest July for 30 years. 

This week’s higher temperatures mean the September average will likely be warmer than July, making it the warmest September for at least 25 years.

 

The weather could be good news for the many French people who still have holiday to take before the end of the year. A survey by easyvoyage.com found that 88 percent of the French have not yet used all their holiday entitlement. 

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CLIMATE CRISIS

Scorching summer was France’s second hottest on record

Three heatwaves since June produced France's second-hottest summer since records began in 1900, the Météo France weather service said on Tuesday, warning that scorching temperatures will be increasingly common as the climate crisis intensifies.

Scorching summer was France's second hottest on record

With 33 days of extreme heat overall, average temperatures for June, July and August were 2.3C above normal for the period of 1991-2020.

It was surpassed only by the 2003 heatwave that caught much of France unprepared for prolonged scorching conditions, leading to nearly 15,000 heat-related deaths, mainly among the elderly.

Data is not yet available for heat-related deaths this summer, but it is likely to be significantly lower than 15,000 thanks to preventative measures taken by local and national authorities. 

Most experts attribute the rising temperatures to the climate crisis, with Météo France noting that over the past eight summers in France, six have been among the 10-hottest ever.

By 2050, “we expect that around half of summer seasons will be at comparable temperatures, if not higher,” even if greenhouse gas emissions are contained, the agency’s research director Samuel Morin said at a press conference.

The heat helped drive a series of wildfires across France this summer, in particular a huge blaze in the southwest that burned for more than a month and blackened 20,000 hectares. 

Unusually, wildfires also broke out even in the normally cooler north of the country, and in total an area five times the size of Paris burned over the summer. 

Adding to the misery was a record drought that required widespread limits on water use, with July the driest month since 1961 – many areas still have water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?

Forecasters have also warned that autumn storms around the Mediterranean – a regular event as air temperatures cool – will be unusually intense this year because of the very high summer temperatures. A storm that hit the island of Corsica in mid August claimed six lives. 

“The summer we’ve just been through is a powerful call to order,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday, laying out her priorities for an “ecological planning” programme to guide France’s efforts against climate change.

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