20/05/13 22:45 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Spring in the Pyrenees “arrives early and quickly feels like the summer”, according to one tourist website. Not this year.
Tourists usually come to cycle, hike, and marvel at wildflowers in the meadows. On Monday at the Col du Tourmalet (altitude 2,115 metres) they contemplated 10 metres of snow.
France and much of western Europe are experiencing the coolest May temperatures for 25 years. Bordeaux is seven degrees below normal; the Cannes Film Festival has been drenched.
In the Seine-et-Marne department east of Paris farmers squelch and shiver their way to work.
“For the strawberrries we are two to three weeks late, more because of the temperatures than because of the rain,” said farmer Thibaut Cozen.
“I love Paris in the springtime”: in the words of Cole Porter’s song, in the winter it “drizzles” and in the summer it “sizzles”.
There is no sign of a heatwave yet in the French capital. In fact forecasters say there is no sign of “any improvement” across the country between now and the end of May or even early June.
Tourists at Parc Astérix north of Paris clearly decided that if they were going to get wet anyway, they might as well do it in style. “Le Grand Splatch” rollercoaster ride, which needs little description, ends with an 11-metre plunge into water.
In parts of Germany and the Netherlands too it is the coldest month of May since 1962, the coolest on record. Forecasters say temperatures are set to drop still further over the next few days.
The lesson is: head east. The iron curtain may have disappeared; instead there is now a golden one across Europe as the two weather systems clash.
Moscow has been enjoying record springtime highs, and it is boiling hot across much of the former communist bloc.
- 1Incredible scenes in the Turkish parliament
- 2Denmark extends controls on German border, EU set to allow more Schengen exceptions
- 3Three Earth-like planets found outside the Solar System
- 4Palestinians condemn Eurovision Song Contest for flag ban
- 5Madeleine Albright on evil, Putin, Trump, Syria and diplomatic kisses
Latest world news
TTIP: French president Hollande says France will say no to EU-US trade deal “at this stage”
Rebels launch surprise attack on Aleppo – Syrian state TV
Spain arrests four men allegedly behind on-line Islamist Radicalisation plot
Probe indicates falsified documents in Flamanville nuclear plant construction
Turkey to abolish visas for Greek Cypriots
Wires > News
- 14:05 CET New security at Brussels Airport causes delays, missed flights
- 14:02 CET U.S. targets Islamic State in Mosul, other cities in Iraq, Syria
- 13:59 CET Turkey to abolish visas for EU states including Cyprus under…
- 13:51 CET Islamic State forces kill U.S. armed forces member in Iraq
- 13:29 CET Baby pulled out alive three days after collapse of Kenya building
- 13:18 CET Fists fly as Sri Lankan MPs protest changing of the guard for…
- 13:17 CET Rebel shelling kills at least 19 in Aleppo – Observatory
- 13:07 CET Hungary plans to hold migrant quota referendum in September or…