Just how warm was summer 2022 in France?

Sunshine through tree leaves
Summer 2022 was very warm in France

THE latest figures from Météo-France show that summer 2022 was the second warmest on record, with many parts of the country seeing record breaking temperatures.

Météo-France say that for the summer months of June, July and August the average temperature was up 2.3C in comparison to the average of 1991 to 2020.

This year comes just behind 2003, when the temperatures were up by 2.7C, in comparison to normal.

France also experienced a record number of days that were characterised as a heatwave, with 15 to 19 June, the 12 to 25 July and the 31 July to 13 August falling under this characterisation, for a total of 23 days of vagues de chaleur (against 22 days in 2003).

Brittany sees record temperatures

Many areas of France saw their highest ever temperatures, with parts of Brittany seeing 40C for the first time.

The same temperature was hit in Nîmes in June, July and August – a temperature series never recorded before.

Tropical nights on Mediterranean coast

On the Mediterranean coast, especially along la Riviera, night time temperatures did not get below 20C for 56 consecutive nights.

Météo-France say that the warm waters of the Mediterranean are a main cause of the high temperatures and fear that such could become the norm during the summer.

The map shows the difference between the highs of 2022 in comparison to the existing highest temperatures.

Map of France showing highest temperature differences. Many parts of Brittany saw record breaking temperatures.
Map of France showing highest temperature differences

Drought across France

Drought conditions across France saw a 25% drop in the average amount of summer rainfall in comparison to the norm, worsening an already difficult situation in many areas of the country.

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Looking across the full year from January to July, Météo-France say that water levels are 33% down across the country, with many parts of France currently facing water restrictions.

For example, here in the Dordogne homeowners are not allowed to wash their cars, refill swimming pools or water their gardens between 8h and 20h.

The long, hot summer also led to major forest fires in the south west of France.

Last Updated on 1 July, 2023.

By Craig McGinty

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