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WEATHER

France experiences coldest April night since 1947

The French weather forecaster Météo France recorded temperatures of -9C on Sunday night, the coldest April night on record since 1947.

France experiences coldest April night since 1947
Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

Overnight frosts were seen across almost all of the France, with the exception of the Paris area and the northern and Mediterranean coasts, with the coldest temperatures recorded in the Champagne area.

While Champagne went down to -9C parts of the south west also recorded temperatures of -5C, leaving wine producers very worried about frost damage to their vines.

Also affected are farmers and fruit growers.

The president of France’s largest agricultural union FNSEA told Le Parisien that the frost had “hit hard” during the night and would have “very serious” consequences.

“It’s very serious, it hit hard overnight, as Météo France had predicted, the temperature went down to -5C, many arboriculturists are affected, what suffered are above all the stone fruits”, said Christiane Lambert. “There are many affected regions such as Dordogne, Burgundy, Alsace, Centre-Val de Loire, Lot-et-Garonne, Maine-et-Loire.”

Many vineyard owners have put candles or lamps out in their fields in an attempt to prevent the vines from freezing, as forecasters predict another two nights of low temperatures and morning frosts.

France’s grape harvest was badly hit by late frosts in 2021, leading to a much reduced wine production, although vineyard owners say it is too early to assess the scale of the damage this year. 

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WEATHER

Snow warnings for northern and central France as winter weather arrives

After snow fell over much of France Monday morning, several départements were placed on the "yellow" weather warning as the country expects more winter weather later in the week.

Snow warnings for northern and central France as winter weather arrives

Winter weather has made its way to France. On Monday, Météo-France placed 24 departments under the “yellow” warning on Monday, over snow and ice. 

The départements concerned were primarily located in France’s north, north-east, and centre.

Screenshot from Météo France

Snowflakes made their appearance in Hauts de France and the Paris region on Monday morning, with a few centimetres accumulated in the Grand-Est region. 

In Lozere, significant snowfall on Monday left several motorists blocked in traffic on the A75. 

Ski season opened at several resorts, such as the high-altitude Val Thorens resort, in the French Alps this weekend.

As of Monday morning, six of France’s mountainous departments, from Haute-Savoie to Alpes-Maritimes were placed on the “yellow” (be aware) alert for avalanches on Monday.

Where snow is expected later this week

According to BFMTV, the remainder of the week will be marked by dry, cold weather across much of the northern parts of France, but the snowflakes are likely to return over the weekend, from Friday through Sunday.

Météo France expects temperatures to be colder than average this week, by about 4 to 5C chillier than seasonal norms.

Snowfall may begin on Friday morning, starting in France’s east and centre, particularly in the Oise and Cher départements. Later in the evening, light snowflakes are expected to fall on the départements north of the Seine and as far east as Alsace, particularly impacting Ille-et-Vilaine, Mayenne, Orne, Sarthe, Maine-et-Loire and Indre-et-Loire could also be affected.

Over the weekend, about two thirds of the northern part of the country will get to see some flurries, and by Sunday morning, a large northeast quarter of France could have a dusting of snow over the ground before higher temperatures turn the snow to rain later in the day.

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