Gray Paris: French capital sees only 4 minutes of sunshine in 2019

Parisians would be forgiven for thinking that the sun had still not come up in 2019. It's only shone for four minutes since New Year's Day.

Gray Paris: French capital sees only 4 minutes of sunshine in 2019
Photo: AFP

That's because since New Year's Day the sun has only been seen for a grand total of 4 minutes in the skies over the French capital.

And that's apparently the gloomiest start to the year since 1990.

The average for the first week of the year is around 2 hours, according to BFM TV. 

So, why exactly has it been such a dreary few days in Paris?

Well apparently it's all down to an anticyclone which has pushed moisture and clouds down. 

“In recent days we have had winds coming from the north and north west, bringing air loaded with moisture from the North Atlantic whereas if we had east winds, it would be calmer and much sunnier,” said Etienne Kapikia, a forecaster at France's national weather agency Météo France.
But while it looks like the capital could continue to suffer from a lack of sunlight for much of the coming week, there should be some sunny spells in the capital from Tuesday. (See weather forecast below for Tuesday afternoon.)


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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.