This year was the hottest in France since the start of the 20th century, national weather service Météo France said on Tuesday, with average national temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the norm.

"/> This year was the hottest in France since the start of the 20th century, national weather service Météo France said on Tuesday, with average national temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the norm.

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WEATHER

2011 hottest year in France since 1900

This year was the hottest in France since the start of the 20th century, national weather service Météo France said on Tuesday, with average national temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the norm.

2011 hottest year in France since 1900
Saint Tropez by Michael Gwyther-Jones

The average national temperature in 2011 was 13.6 degrees, Météo France’s Francois Gourand told AFP, 0.2 degrees warmer than the previous hottest year, 2003.

This year’s spring was particularly warm, with temperatures an average 4 degrees warmer than usual in April. The “norm” is the average temperature from 1971 to 2000, Gourand said.

Autumn 2011 was also exceptionally mild, with November the second hottest since 1900, 3 degrees warmer than the average of temperatures from 1971 to 2000.

Every month in 2011 was above this benchmark except for July, when temperatures were 1.3 degrees cooler than average.

The year’s warm temperatures were accompanied by 20 percent less rainfall than usual, except in the southeast of France where heavy rain in November saw the average attained.

On a global level, the World Meteorological Organisation said at the end of November that 2011 was at that point the “10th warmest year at a global level” since records began in 1850.

Moreover, the world’s 13 hottest years since records began are all from the last 15 years, the UN weather organisation said.


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WEATHER

South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday. 

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