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Will there be a white Christmas in France this year?

The Local France
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Will there be a white Christmas in France this year?
A snowy Christmas in Strsbourg in 2017. Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP

After an exceptionally cold spell in early December, temperatures in France are now unseasonably mild - so will there be a white Christmas anywhere this year?

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French weather forecaster Météo France has released its forecast for the week and it seems that the warmer weather is here to stay.

That means that for most of France, December 24th and 25th will be mild and cloudy, with no likelihood of snow, ice or even frost.

Overall temperatures will be slightly above seasonal norms this week, with predictions of 13C in Brittany, 12C in eastern France and a peak of 19C in Perpignan in the south west.

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Météo France predicts dry and clear weather for the south, but cloudy skies and some rain in the north and centre of the country.

December 24th is predicted to see scattered rain showers in most of the country, although the south will remain dry with temperatures of 15C in Toulouse and Montpellier, 16C in Nice and up to 18C in Corsica.

In northern and central France temperatures will be closer to 10C - 9C in Rouen, 11C near the Channel and in Paris, and 10C in Strasbourg and the east.

On December 25th it is predicted to be mild, clear, sunny and almost spring-like with a maximum temperature of 15C. Parts of the north, including Hauts-de-France and Brittany, will see some rain and temperatures will be 10C or 11C.

The way to experience a white Christmas in France this year will therefore be to head to the high-altitude ski resorts in the Alps, Pyrenees or Jura.

READ ALSO Family friendly to high altitude: 15 of the best French ski resorts

The long-range forecast for Europe suggests that the winter will be milder than usual, with the exception of the 'cold blast' that struck in December.

This will come as a relief to many governments, including the French one, facing the possibility of power cuts this winter as electricity supplies run short due to the war in Ukraine and (in the French case) nuclear plants being offline for maintenance.

The old French saying Noël au balcon, Pâques au tison (Christmas on the balcony, Easter by the fire) has it that a mild winter will be followed by an unusually cold spring. However, we think that saying was invented before climate change truly accelerated. 

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