France submits bid to host European weather forecasting centre after Brexit

France has submitted a bid to host part of the European weather forecasting centre, which is leaving its current home in the UK because of Brexit.

France submits bid to host European weather forecasting centre after Brexit
The southern French city of Toulouse is bidding to host the weather forecasting centre. Photo: AFP

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is currently based in Reading, but could move to Toulouse if the French bid is accepted.

The centre, which employs 150 people, collects meteorological data from around the world and develops short and long rang forecasts and models for EU member states.

A centre of the aerospace industry, Toulouse already hosts the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), the forecasting services of French weather forecaster Météo-France and those of Mercator Ocean International, which is implementing the ocean monitoring service of the European Copernicus program.

France has already secured the hosting of the European Banking Regulator, which moved from London to Paris last year, and the relocation of several high profile banks.

French president Emmanuel Macron is keen to set up Paris as a rival financial centre to London after Brexit, and the French government has also been targeting British tech and computer games businesses.


Member comments

  1. Well that’s what the deadbeats voted for, “freedom”. Over the next few years many more institutions will follow suit.

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Just how hot is this week’s May heatwave in France?

Temperature records are tumbling as France swelters in an early summer hot spell - and forecasters predict more highs will be reached before any respite.

Just how hot is this week's May heatwave in France?

In the northern département of Manche, a département unaccustomed to high temperatures, the mercury reached 26C in La Hague on Tuesday, breaking a record for May dating back to 1922. The highest temperature on Tuesday across France was 32.8C recorded in Agen. But that record is not expected to last long.

Keraunos, the observatory for tornadoes and violent thunderstorms, warned that France could see a new national temperature record close to 37C between Friday and Sunday, some +17C higher than normal for the time of year.

According to national forecaster Météo France, temperatures were expected to hit 34C in Toulouse on Wednesday, beating the May record of 33.1C in the Pink City set in 2001, while Bordeaux was expected to see similarly high temperatures. Forecasters predicted 31C in Paris, compared to around 22C normally, while in the far north of the country, 29C was expected in Lille.

According to François Jobard, forecaster for Météo France, “since at least 1947, there has never been a ‘heat wave’ in May, because the hottest day in May remained well below 25.3 ° C (22.9°C: May 28, 2017). In fact, until now, this threshold has never been reached before a June 20…”

The reason for the unseasonably high temperatures? Since the beginning of May, France has been blocked under an anticyclone. “We are already seeing an anomaly of more than 2.7 degrees higher than average,” a Meteo France spokesperson told Franceinfo. 

Forecasters fear temperatures across the whole of the month could end up being 3C above normal. The hottest May on record was in 2011, when average temperatures were 1.85C higher than the average.

A European Commission report said the hottest May day since measurements began was expected on Wednesday, particularly in the Rhone valley.

Despite storms forecast for Wednesday in the north and west of the country, which are set to spread across France over the weekend, Météo France forecaster Gaétan Heymes said in a Tweet that it is “almost certain that this month will be drier than normal. Beating the 2011 drought record remains largely possible…”

That will mean nine of the past 10 months – December is the odd one out – have been drier than normal.

Meteorologists say the abnormal temperatures risk becoming more frequent in the coming years as a result of climate change.

“Heatwaves are set to become more frequent and tend to set in earlier in the spring than before,” Météo France said.