France's winter 'is the warmest ever recorded'

France's winter 'is the warmest ever recorded'
Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Julie Gaubert with Météo France
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French temperatures in February were more than 3°C above the average for this time of year.


The last three months have been the warmest temperatures ever recorded in France, according to data published on Friday. 

Météo France, the country's weather agency, said the 1 December- 29 February period had been the hottest since 1900.

Temperatures in France were 2.7℃ above the 1981-2010 average, with conditions in February especially mild. 

"The temperature was, on average, 2°C above the normal in December and January and more than 3°C in February," said Météo-France.

The average temperature during France's meteorological winter is 5.4℃, but the mercury hit more than 20℃ in February in the south. 

This map from Meteo France shows the extent to which this winter's temperatures have exceeded the 1981-2010 average. 

Météo France

It comes after American scientists at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) listed three major climate trends so far this winter. 

  • Record-warm temperatures were seen in various regions: Scandinavia, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the central and western Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and Central and South America. On the other hand, no land or ocean areas had record-cold January temperatures.
  • Polar sea ice coverage smaller than normal: Arctic sea ice coverage was 5.3% below 1981-2010 average. Antarctic sea coverage was 9.8% below.
  • Snow cover was lacking: Northern Hemisphere snow coverage was below the 1981–2010 average, having the 18th-smallest January snow cover in the 54-year record.
NOAA's State of the Climate Reports, January 2020
NOAA Global Temp
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