Why is it Going to be so Cold this Week in the Northern Half of France?

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Why is it going to be so cold this week in the northern half of France?

COLD WEATHER: In the north of France, the temperatures will feel like it has dropped to – 15 degrees

  • This week, it will be very (very) cold in half of northern France.
  • Extremely low temperatures from central Europe combined with an Atlantic depression await us.
  • A wave, however, more local than national, and which should quickly dissipate.

cold snap has hit northern France since Monday, hit  Brittany and the east on Tuesday, and should continue to bring temperatures down until the end of the week across the northern half of the country. Meteo France has already placed 23 departments, mainly Breton, in the North and East, on ice snow alert, and two others on an extreme cold alert. Thus, this Tuesday morning, in the North, the temperatures felt alternated between – 10 and – 15 degrees, and in the upper part of France, from Brittany to the East via Paris, between – 5 and – 10 degrees. Here we try to explain why so many of us are shivering.

What is going on ?

These extremely low temperatures can be explained by a depression of cold air coming from central Europe, mainly from Scandinavia, which after passing through northern Europe, especially the Netherlands, swept over France from above. below. This cold air is responsible for absolutely freezing temperatures in other European countries: actual temperatures of – 15 to – 20 degrees in some German regions and up to – 25 in the Netherlands (to be put into perspective, however, because seasonal temperatures are already – 10 / – 15 degrees in normal times).

France is caught between this mass of cold air coming from the East and another depression, this time arriving from the Atlantic. This depression coming from the ocean is particularly wet, which combined with the cold, should cause a lot of snowfall. Caught between the icy hammer and the polar anvil, part of the country will experience “several very cold days” , warns Patrick Galois, forecaster at Météo-France, while the depression from the north is moving very quickly. The cold should still last a few days, in particular, because of the snowy grounds caused by the combination of the two airwaves, grounds which cool the temperature and maintain the cold already in place.

How long should this last?

As announced, from this Sunday afternoon, temperatures “should be overwhelmingly above zero,” reassures Patrick Galois, once the two depressions have passed and the snow-covered soils will melt, losing their temperature catalyst effect. Next week, “temperatures will even be above seasonal averages,” said the forecaster, this time thanks to warm and gentle drafts.

Can we speak of a national cold spell?

Not at all, plays down Patrick Galois. A national cold wave is defined by an event lasting a minimum of three days during which the national temperature drops below -2 degrees. However, this should not be the case here, because the south of France is spared by negative temperatures. While he will be – 1 degree in Paris, felt – 5, it will be 14 degrees in Perpignan this Tuesday afternoon for example. The South “benefits from currents of oceanic origin, carrying warm air, and already above seasonal averages”. These opposing currents will thus create large temperature differences sometimes over very close areas. “Between the Center and Picardy, about 200 kilometers, there may be a temperature difference of ten degrees”, notes the forecaster. In the North, where temperatures will still be very cold, “it has nothing to do with what some European countries have been experiencing for a few days”, he tempers. Are the French too cautious?

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