Anyone who spent time in France this summer won't be surprised to discover that the scorching temperatures which hit most of the country in July and August were some of the hottest on record.
With this summer ranking as the second hottest on record, 2018 follows hot on the heels of 2003 — the hottest — when temperatures were 3.2C above seasonal norms.
This is according to weather records since 1959 which compare temperatures from July 1st to August 31st, also known as the meteorological summer.
This summer was also marked by “a heat wave that affected the entire country from July 24th to August 8th”.
“Despite the occasional cooling of temperatures mainly in June and August, the mercury has generally remained above normal, especially in the large north east area where it has often been 2C to 3C above the norm,” said France's weather agency Météo France.
In Paris and in the areas towards the Hauts-de-France region in the north of the country, the contrast between the summers of 2003 and 2018 was less stark than elsewhere in France, the national weather agency said.
“We recorded [temperatures] higher than 30C over 26 days in Montsouris park in Paris this summer and over 21 days in 2003,” said Météo France.
Similarly in the Lesquin area of the northern French city of Lille, the maximum temperature exceeded 30C for 15 days this summer and 11 days in 2003.
The confirmation certainly won't come as a surprise to those who spent the summer in France, particularly those disgruntled (not to mention boiling) commuters in Paris took to recording the temperatures on the city's much-maligned RER B line during the ongoing heatwave, with their findings showing temperatures reached a whopping 43C.
Meanwhile in terms of rainfall, there was more than expected east of Brittany and in the Pays de la Loire, south of Aquitaine and the Midi-Pyrenees, as well as in the areas around the Mediterranean.
However there was less than expected on the Normandy coast in the north and north east, as well as in the centre of France.
“On average, across France, there was slightly less rain than predicted,” said Meteo France.
Five French words to learn
la vague de chaleur – heatwave
la météo – weather/ weather service or weather forecasting
les précipitations – rainfall
été – summer