France to enjoy three days of Halloween sun

Halloween and the month of November may be almost upon us, but the sun in France shows no sign of going into hibernation for the winter, with three days of sunshine on the way over Halloween.

France to enjoy three days of Halloween sun
Photo: AFP

France looks set to enjoy its “été Indien” this weekend as the sun comes out across the country for three days. 

Temperatures across the country are set to be in their low twenties with the mercury even hitting 23C in some regions.

The Toussaint (All Saints) weekend which is celebrated on November 1st is set to see three days of glorious sunshine, starting from Friday.

Although unfortunately for those in Brittany and Normandy, the two regions are forecast to be the only parts of the country that could see rain on Friday afternoon.

But it’s very important to note that Normandy is a big place and it might not rain across the whole region.

(This line was included at the request of a Mr Lebel who recently lambasted pessimistic French weather forecasters for ruining the tourism industry in Normandy.)

On Saturday however the whole country should enjoy sunshine, but morning mists on the plains of Alsace and in the Valley of Saône may take a while to clear.

Sunday, the day of Toussaint, should also be sunny although showers are forecast to come over the Pyrenees from Spain which could spoil the fun.

The sunny spell comes after southern France was hit by a series of storms earlier in the autumn and a recent record cold spell saw temperatures plummet and the first dusting of snow over high ground.

The only bad news about the public holiday Toussaint this year is that it falls on a Sunday, which means workers don’t get the day off.

However another public holiday is around the corner with Armistice Day on November 11th also being a day off.

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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.