Weather: Cold Wave is here, Authorities on Alert

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Freezing temperatures have seized almost all of France on Wednesday morning, resulting in the implementation of preventive measures

Preventive measures will be implemented this Wednesday morning at a ministerial meeting at the Elysee as the cold wave affects France. Because today, frosts will extend to the tip of Brittany. Such an episode is unprecedented since the cold half of February 2012.

Freezing temperatures this Tuesday seized almost all of France, as the expected cold wave began to bite, resulting in the implementation of preventive measures that should be the subject Wednesday of a ministerial meeting at the Elysee . President Francois Hollande will preside at 08 h 45 a meeting with the participation of Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, the Ministers of the Environment, Housing, Social Affairs and Interior.

Wednesday, Ice and frost should be extended to include up to the tip of Brittany so far relatively unscathed, says Meteo France.

The minimum recorded temperatures on Tuesday (-11 degrees in Grenoble, -9 degrees in  Brignoles in the Var, -2 degrees in Paris) were 5 to 10 degrees below normal season, according to the forecasting agency. Most notable were found in the Southeast: -6 degrees in Marseille-Marignane, -4 degrees at Cannes,  -3 degrees at Antibes and -2 degrees in Nice.

“A good chill”

“Not since January 2005 to find such temperatures on the French Riviera” , said Patrick Galois, a forecaster at Meteo France.

He also made -21 degrees in Val d’Isere at 1800 m, -13 at Luxeuil (Haute-Saône), -10 at Charleville-Mezieres, -8 in Besançon … fairly common temperatures for the season, noted Meteo France. The maximum reached in the afternoon 0 degrees at Clermont-Ferrand, Paris 0.6 degrees to 4 degrees in Porto-Vecchio.

“We must be relative” cautions Mr. Galois: “This is a good chill. That same day, January 17, 1985, the minimum temperature reached -23 degrees in Nevers, Lille -19, -17 in Lyon in Paris -14, -10 in Marseille … ”

Unprecedented since the cold half of 2012

In the southeast, “we are 4-5 degrees below normal values”, against 10 degrees in 2012 and 12 in 1987, said Jean-Luc Marino, Météo France of Aix-en-Provence.

However, such an episode is unprecedented since the cold half of February 2012. But it should not equal it, neither in duration nor intensity.

Since Saturday, the government implemented a “daily monitoring” to anticipate the needs in the departments.

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A homeless man found dead in Seine-Saint-Denis

Gironde for example, 70 additional beds were available, and the homeless patrols, firemen, gendarmes and police have been reinforced. In Charente-Maritime, where a homeless man froze to death in late December, 78 additional places were provided. In Lyon, it’s 200 beds.

In Indre-et-Loire and the Loiret, the teams went strengthened, as Ariege, where the perceived temperature (factoring in the wind chill factor) was expected to reach -12 degrees.

The lifeless body of a homeless man aged fifty years old was discovered on  Tuesday in the garden of a house in Seine-Saint-Denis, according to a police source, who however said “they are not sure if this death was related to the cold wave ” .

Schools closed in Corsica

In Corsica, the orange snow-ice alert was lifted Wednesday morning at 6 am, but most schools remain closed.

Regarding electricity supply, the France will be sufficiently supplied Wednesday, but the situation remains “under strong vigilance” for the following days even if no power outage is planned at this stage, said RTE manager.

“For solidarity” City of Paris has announced that it is reducing its electricity consumption to reduce tensions on the network, turning off outdoor lighting at 230 public buildings on Tuesday evening.

“Quite worrying” in the Southeast

Southeast knows however a situation “worrying enough” for its gas supply, due to the virtual halt of deliveries from Algeria, warned the GRTgaz manager.

The situation could be tender with the extension of cold westward, especially for Brittany that will see the mercury drop below 0 degrees on Wednesday (-1 degrees expected in Brest against 1 degrees on Tuesday).

According to Meteo France , the morning frosts often go to the coast. It should be between -3 and -8 degrees inland, from -9 to -12 and sometimes less in the mountains. -4 Is expected in Paris.


Thursday coldest average day

Thursday “could average the coldest day” of this episode, said Tuesday night Etienne Kapikian, forecaster at Meteo France.

The Mediterranean should instead begin to see temperatures start rising on Thursday.  The wind should fall on Friday, and on weekends, gradually the temperatures back in the day, with even colder nights.

According to Meteo-France, next week, thanks to a westerly flow, the country should regain softness above normal, even with maximum two-digit weekend.

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