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WEATHER

Easter weekend forecast in France: Mixed weather and ‘difficulty’ on the roads

France is looking at mixed weather conditions for the long Easter weekend, with spells of rain, sun and storms. Traffic is also expected to be "difficult" across much of the country on Friday and Monday.

Easter weekend forecast in France: Mixed weather and 'difficulty' on the roads
Photo: AFP
The weather in France is set to be fairly inconsistent over the long weekend ahead, according to France's national weather agency Meteo France
 
Frequent spells of rain are predicted for the north of the country on Saturday. 
 
In Paris, Saturday morning there will be some sunny spells but between 2 pm and 5 pm a storm is expected to hit the French capital.  
 
On Sunday, the weather is expected to be a bit cloudy although no rain is expected after 8 am. 
 
Even the south of the country is predicted to get showers over the Easter period, including parts of the southern regions of Occitanie and Nouvelle Aquitaine. 
 
Saturday
 
Weather predictions for Saturday between 2 pm and 5pm. Map: Meteo France
 
However in the Mediterranean the weather conditions are set to be generally pleasant with sunny spells. 
 
On Saturday and Sunday, temperatures across the country are expected to be 2C to 4C below normal for the season with an average of 12C in Paris, 15C in Bordeaux and 18C in Corsica.
 
Sunday
 
 
 
On Monday the weather is expected to take a turn for the better in the south and most of the east of the country however the northwest will remain cloudy. 
 
 
Temperatures on Monday will be significantly higher across the country with the mercury set to rise to 15C to 18C in most of the north and 17C to 22C in the south. 
 
Difficult roads 
 
Meanwhile it's unlikely to come as a surprise that the roads will be busy over the Easter weekend in France. 
 
Bison Futé, the French government's traffic info service has classed the roads as orange, meaning traffic will be “difficult” across the whole of France, from as early as Friday. 
 
 
Photo: Screenshot/Bison Fute
 
On Friday, the traffic will be difficult on the motorways, including the A7 between Lyon and Orange and the A61 between Carcassonne and Narbonne, as well as on the roads leading to the Alps.
 
On Saturday, most of the country is classified green, meaning traffic will not be difficult, although drivers could encounter some traffic in Brittany in the north west, Pays de la Loire in western France, Normandy in the north west, Centre-Val de Loire in the north and the French Alps. 
 
Drivers are also likely to face some difficulties on the roads on Monday also classified orange by Bison Fute when people are returning home. 
 
Traffic will be dense in the direction of major cities according to Bison Futé, as well as on the A13 in Normandy, the A10 between Tours and Orleans and the A11 between Angers and Chartres.
 
Photo: AFP
 
Bison Futé recommends avoiding the roads in coastal areas and big cities between 2 pm and 7 pm.
 
In the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France, traffic jams are expected on the A10 between 1 pm and midnight.
 
School holidays in Belgium, Luxembourg and Great Britain are also likely to increase traffic.

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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