a severe drought and a new mild month 04/03/2023

As at the beginning of each month, we offer you a climatological report of the past month. Place therefore in the mapped balance sheet of the month of JANUARY 2023 in terms of temperature, rainfall and sunshine on a panel of 73 stations*. The statistics are calculated under the official climate average for the period 1991-2020.

The series of mild temperatures still does not stop. With a thermal excess of +0.8°C nationally, we offer ourselves an unfortunate “bonus” of the 13 consecutive months above monthly averages, a record since weather observations began more than a century ago. We have to go back to January 2022 to fall below these averages (-0.5°C).

Monthly temperature anomalies in France since January 2022 (compared to the 1991-2020 average)

Despite this balance sheet once again in the red, the temperatures were up and down, in line with the month of January. THE first few days were pretty sweet before a cold sequence between February 6 and 11 (widespread frosts >>). The softness again manifested itself more lastingly between February 11 and 25 with the very first feelings of spring (up to 24.5°C in the Gard on the 19th then 24.7°C in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques on the 20th >>). However, the cold resurfaced thanks to the return of a continental flow at the very end of the month, materializing in the return of frosts and even snow in the plain between Languedoc and Provence on 26 and 27 (a first in some cities since 2018 (>>)).

Daily temperature anomaly in February 2023 in France – deviation from the 1991-2020 mean – Infoclimat

It was the regions of the East and North-East that experienced the most abnormally high temperatures during this month, with an excess often greater than +1°C or even +1.5°C (example of Paris). The strongest anomalies are to be put under Langres (+2.1°C) and especially Bourg-Saint-Maurice (+2.8°C).

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On the other hand, the cities of the South-West quarter as well as the Mediterranean basin experienced a cooler month, driven by very frequent morning frosts. We therefore note a slight thermal deficit not exceeding -1°C (minimum of -0.7°C in Tarbes, -0.8°C in Hyères and -0.9°C on the Biarritz side).

The most striking fact is in terms of rainfall. Almost no rain over most of the country, resulting in a terrible negative balance sheet of -73% on our national panel of stations for this month, listed in February’s 4th driest month observed since the beginning of the statistical series in 1959 (absolute record dating back to February 2012).

In question, a simply imperturbable anticyclonic blockage started since the 3rd decade of January. Atmospheric pressure remained above 1025hPa in Paris for a full month, from January 22 to February 21, unheard of (beating the 24-day record dating back to the winter of 1932). A situation that has been observed more and more frequently in recent years due to climate change (detailed explanations via our dedicated article evoking the gradual rise of the “Hadley cell” >>). This situation prevented any rain: France experienced a incredible streak of 32 consecutive days without significant rain (daily total less than 1mm), longest streak since statistics began in 1959ahead of that of 03/17/2020 to 04/16/2020 (31 consecutive days).

Such a lack of rain is not without consequences with a soil drought marked and widespread, but also more than half of the water tables monitored at low or even very low levelsresulting in the appearance of first restrictions on water use (a particularly rare situation in this winter period conducive to recharging >>).

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Daily accumulation of aggregate precipitation in France – from January 1 to February 20, 2023 – Meteo France

The map of anomalies is then final, no city in the panel having reached its monthly average (-17% in Bastia, -20% in Bordeaux, -22% in Hyères for the lowest deficits). THE precipitation has even been almost non-existent during the month on Alps, the Val de Saône and especially around the Paris basin, where the rainfall deficit is almost maximum, (-96% in Paris and Mâcon, -97% in Embrun, -98% in Alençon and Beauvais, -99% in Bourg-Saint-Maurice). The incredible prize goes to Melun, where no rain was measured (-100%) !

In terms of accumulation, it fell on average about 13mm over the country during this month of February…against a usual average of 63mm. Some rains were able to appear around February 24 in Aquitaine, as well as the 26 and 27 in the South-East, bringing some rains remaining largely insufficient (40mm in Hyères, 48mm in Biarritz, 53mm in Bordeaux and Bastia).

In total, 16 of the cities in our panel did not exceed 5mm during the month, mainly in the northern half. Non-existent rains as indicated on the Alps, Val de Saône and Paris Basin: 2.0mm in Chartres, 1.6mm in Paris, 1.2mm in Embrun and Alençon, 1.0mm in Beauvais, 0.8mm in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, and a sad record of zero points for the city of Melun.

Under these permanently high and dry conditions, the sun was particularly generous, even very remarkably in some parts of the territory, the low clouds having been very discreet in recent weeks. In February, theexcess sunshine reached +33% on our panel of stations.

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Only around the Mediterranean is set back, in particular the Côte d’Azur as well as Corsica where a deficit is even noted on the side of Nice (-6%) and Bastia (-21%). Everywhere else, the sun shone with its omnipresence, with a surplus exceeding +50% in the Lyon region (+57%), between Normandy and Ile-de-France (+57% in Paris, +58% in Paris), and especially in the South-West quarter (+58% in Mont-de-Marsan, +60% in Agen and up to +62% in Bergerac).

In terms of total sunshine duration, only two cities out of our entire panel did not exceed 100 hours (88 hours in Calais and 90 hours in Saint-Brieuc). As usual, we observe a typical North/South gradient with a sunshine rate generally between 100 and 140 hours north of the Loire (132 hours for Paris), but more than 160 to 180 hours on average on half South. The three sunniest towns in the panel are the resorts of Hyères (197h), Aurillac (199h) and Saint-Auban, the only station to have exceeded 200 cumulative hours here (205h).



Temperature – rainfall – sunshine:
Agen, Ajaccio, Albi, Alençon, Angers, Aurillac, Bastia, Beauvais, Bergerac, Besançon, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Bourges, Brest, Brive, Caen, Carcassonne, Charleville-Mézières, Chartres, Châteauroux, Cherbourg, Clermont-Ferrand, Cognac, Colmar, Dijon, Embrun, La-Roche-sur-Yon, Langres, Le Mans, Le-Puy-en-Velay, Le Touquet, Limoges, Lorient, Luxeuil, Lyon-Bron, Mâcon, Marseille- Marignane, Melun, Millau, Mont-de-Marsan, Montélimar, Montpellier, Nancy-Essey, Nantes, Nevers, Nice, Nîmes-Courbessac, Niort, Orléans, Paris-Montsouris, Perpignan, Poitiers, Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Saint- Etienne, Saint-Dizier, Saint-Auban, Saint-Geoirs (Grenoble), Saint-Girons, Saint-Quentin, Strasbourg, Rouen, Tarbes, Toulouse-Blagnac, Tours, Troyes.

Temperature – rainfall (partial or total absence of sunshine data):
Abbeville, Lille, Metz, Hyères, Romorantin.

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