Paris is expected to see its first snow of winter this weekend, with temperatures falling to between one and three degrees.
As France’s hottest year on record enters its final month, a small amount of snow is forecast in the greater Paris region on Friday evening – specifically Yvelines and part of Val-d’Oise, while rain in Essonne will mix with snow. Overnight, flurries are expected in Seine-Saint-Denis and into Paris itself – but no more than a dusting is expected.
Snow, this early in the season, is unusual in the capital. In 2010, 11 centimetres fell on December 9th, paralysing the city’s public transport system. It was the worst snowfall in the city in 25 years – and has not been repeated since. Generally, snow in Paris does not stick around.
It’s not just the capital that it will feel chilly, Saturday will be cold across a large part of the country, as temperatures finally drop below seasonal norms, by as much as 5 degrees in some parts of France. Rain is forecast in the south, while the north will remain cloudy.
Some light overnight frosts are possible, according to Météo France, while temperatures are expected to reach between 3C and 6C in the north of the country, 7C to 9C further south, and up to 13C around the Mediterranean.
On Saturday, rain is expected in the south-east, which could bring a few centimetres of snow to the Massif Central at altitudes as low as 400m.
On Sunday, some light snowfall may occur in the north-east, perhaps spreading as far as the historic Limousin area – but it is not expected to last.
The Southern Alps should also see some snowfall on Saturday, and again on Sunday afternoon. A few flakes could also fall on the western part of the Pyrenees on Saturday afternoon, forecasters at Météo France said.
The cold spell will be shortlived, with temperatures rising again in the south of the country from Monday-Tuesday, and will do nothing to prevent 2022 setting climate records in France.
Météo France said that global warming means cold periods in France are indeed increasingly rare and less intense. The winters of 2014 to 2021 were all “above normal”, while four of the five warmest winters on record were in 2007, 2014, 2016 and 2020.