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WEATHER

September temperature records broken in France amid new heatwave

Much of the foliage in France is already looking distinctly autumnal, but another heatwave is forecast for this week, with some areas reaching 39C and 40C.

September temperature records broken in France amid new heatwave
A worker drinks water in a construction site in Savenay, outside Nantes, during a French heatwave. Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP

After a cooler few weeks with temperatures dropping significantly at night, France is predicted to return to summer heat this week, with Météo France predicting temperatures of up to 39C in the south west.

Fears that Hurricane Danielle would hit Europe have proved unfounded, with the storm dispersing and instead turning into a simple low-pressure system that will bring warm weather up from North Africa. 

The hot weather began on Sunday in the south west, where Biarritz reached 31.5C and the region saw temperatures of up to 39C on Monday. 

Elsewhere in France temperatures were predicted to be 24C-30C in northern and central France and 29C-34C along the Mediterranean coast.

By mid-afternoon on Monday, over a hundred communes located mostly in the southwest and central France broke heat records for the month of September. 

Pau, located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département recorded 37.4C, exceeding its previous record of 36.3C from 1970. Several communes saw temperatures of higher than 35C. 

In Landes, the Bégaar weather station recorded temperatures of higher than 40C in the afternoon.

The hot weather is predicted to last until the middle of the week, when it will cool slightly, and there may be storms on some areas.

Many areas in France remain on drought alert with water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?

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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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