Weather and heat wave: Should we expect a heat wave in France this summer?

By Manon C. Published on May 10, 2022 at 6:25 p.m.

The next few days, temperatures should greatly exceed seasonal norms in France. Should we, once again, expect a scorching summer in France?

The episode of heat in this month of May 2022 was planned for a long time, according to the models of the European climate observation program Copernicusbut also because of the particularly mild and arid in Spain and Portugal.

This Monday, May 9, 2022, the Ministries of Agriculture and Ecological Transition have placed 15 departments in a situation of “vigilance” or “alert” in Franceafter a month of April “with a 25% rainfall deficit”. And that’s not about to change!

Indeed, no episode of rain is expected in France before at least May 17, while some cities, like Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, Agen and Montaubanshould even reach the 30 degrees for the first time this year, Wednesday May 11. However, should we fear a scorching weather this summer, in France ?

Asked last February by France Info on the possibility of a scorching summer, Christophe Cassou, CNRS climatologist and author of the 6th report of the IPCC, felt that we should not get carried away and over-interpret the data. “When springs are dry in Southern Europe, summers tend to be warmer in France and North-Western Europe, but no one is able to say today whether or not there will be heat waves this summer.”

Same story, this Tuesday, May 10, on the side of Meteo France which is reassuring. “In 1998, the threshold of ‘high heat’ (30°C) was reached on each of the three days of the Ice Saints in Lille and Paris. In a more distant past, the months of May 1912 or May 1945 were marked by episodes of intense heat, with 32.2°C recorded in Nantes on May 16, 1945. detail the organization.

And to continue: “Without being exceptional, an episode of heat like the one expected next week, early and lasting, is still not so frequent. In the context of climate change, it should be noted that periods of heat waves are set to become more frequent, and tend to set in earlier during the spring than before.”

But then, what about this summer? According to Meteo France, “a heat episode in May does not allow to make forecasts for the summer.” For example, “the hottest May since 1945 was May 2011. The summer that followed was no hotter than normal.” If in doubt, still plan ice cubes !

Leave a Comment