The Siberian cold wave begins to be felt Sunday afternoon. A homeless person was found dead in Valence, probably victim of the cold wave.
Up to -10 ° C, felt -18 ° C: a cold came from Siberia to France on Sunday afternoon, with “cold minimum” temperatures in the East , according to Meteo France, and a first likely victim cold to deplore in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region .
A 35-year-old homeless man was found dead on Sunday morning by his two comrades of misfortune in Valence , where the thermometer went down to -3 degrees in the night. The first findings suggest that he died of cold, told AFP the prefecture of the Drôme.
The Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes have been placed by Météo France in orange vigilance for risk of snow and ice.
“Ice cold” minimums
In the north-east quarter of the country, the cold began to increase on Sunday afternoon with the arrival of intense cold air masses from the Siberia.
“Until now, it was tenable. But here, we feel that it will come, “worried René Gauthier, 65, a former driver-delivery man homeless for 26 years who had a place reserved for the night in a gymnasium in Strasbourg requisitioned by the prefecture.
“The minimum temperatures are freezing. They vary from -6 to -10 degrees on the Grand-Est and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (…) The maximums remain negative on a large north-east quarter with -4 to 0 degrees “, said Météo-France in a bulletin shortly before 5pm.
“On a large northern half, the north-east wind, which is increasing to 60 to 70 km/h, significantly accentuates the feeling of cold,” it was said.
This phenomenon known as “Moscow-Paris” will then spread to the rest of the country which should live between Monday and Wednesday the coldest days of winter.
Météo-France forecasts between Monday and Wednesday a minimum of -6 ° C to -10 ° C over a large eastern half (outside the Mediterranean, between 0 ° C and -4 ° C) and -2 ° C and -6 ° C on the West, unusual temperatures as late in the season. Tuesday and Wednesday should be the two coldest days.
“Keep everyone safe”
Due to a sustained wind, the temperatures felt will go down much lower: between -12 ° C and -18 ° C, or -25 ° C in the mountains.
This episode of cold pushed the authorities to trigger in 37 departments the “cold weather” plan, with more than 3,100 temporary places of additional accommodation for the homeless.
“Very firm instructions were given to all prefects to protect everyone, that is to say that we will ask the mayors to open gyms, public facilities so that no one is out tonight, “assured Interior Minister Gérard Collomb Sunday on Europe 1.
Friday, a 62-year-old man, who lived in a cabin in the woods in Yvelines, was found dead. His death is due in part to the cold, according to the gendarmerie.
But the homeless are not the only people to suffer from the cold. Health authorities advise keeping infants and elderly people indoors.
Frostbite and hypothermia
For others, it is better to limit physical effort and cover well to avoid frostbite, hypothermia, and aggravation of possible cardiovascular risks. Also beware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) has called on everyone to limit their electricity consumption, especially between 18h and 20h, underlining on Twitter that electricity production during peaks of cold is “The most carbonaceous”, with the means of production “the most polluting and the most expensive”.
Lors des #picsdefroid, l’#électricité produite est la plus carbonée : les moyens de production les + polluants et les + chers sont mis en route. Découvrons les gestes simples à mettre en place pour réduire notre conso https://t.co/HbawltHbtq
— ADEME (@ademe) February 23, 2018
After a month of historically mild January, and a snowy beginning of February, this episode of cold, which would be banal in the heart of winter, is notable because of its date. France has not experienced such late cold since late February-early March 2005.
On the northern half, the “cold wave” could last until the end of the week, but the south should live a simple “cold shot”, intense but shorter, with a warmth expected Wednesday.
A snowy episode is expected in the night from Sunday to Monday in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region where Meteo France has placed three departments (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Alpes-Maritimes and Var) in orange alert for snow and ice. It could disrupt traffic on several highways, said Vinci Autoroutes in a statement.
The snow could move north Thursday, but the weather forecast does not yet specify the intensity of this episode.