Is France heading for a glacial end of the year?

People stare into the sunset in Nice. Tuesday is set to be the coldest winter solstice in France in 15 years.
Tuesday is set to be the coldest winter solstice in France in 15 years. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)
France on Tuesday recorded temperatures of -20C, with meteorologists saying it is headed towards the coldest winter solstice in 15 years.

The commune of Mouthe in eastern France recorded temperatures of -20C on Tuesday morning, the year’s shortest day. Temperatures between -3C and -5C were recorded in the Grand Est and Auvergne Rhône-Alpes regions.

Average temperature across the country of about 3C are predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday.

François Jobard of Météo France said that the country was probably heading towards the coldest winter solstice in 15 years, although he added that measuring temperatures around the winter solstice was not necessarily the best way to assess climatic trends, saying it is more worthwhile measuring average temperatures over a 15-day period. 

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An extreme cold spell is currently gripping eastern Europe and while France should be spared for Christmas, New Year’s Eve celebrations might get chilly. 

December 25th is set to be drizzly across the majority of the country, although by the afternoon, temperatures will mostly be in the double digits. Eastern France will be dryer than western parts of the country, but by the evening, it is predicted to rain across the board. 

Map: Météo France


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