If you were lucky enough to have spent the weekend in France, you might have thought you had gone back in time – to the summer at least, or maybe to October 1954
In Paris it was 25°, the water was still very nice down in Antibes at 23° while Biarritz recorded temperatures touching on 30°. By any standards, this was an exceptionally hot weekend for the latter half of October with temperatures that were amongst “the hottest ever seen”, according to Michel Daloz, a weather forecaster with Météo-France.
A holding anti-cyclone established itself over most of France, pushing the rain clouds northwards to Ireland, where we had a mild but exceptionally wet and windy dose of weather.
“The last hot Octobers we’ve seen were in 2006, 2005, 2001 and 1995,” says Mr Daloz, only this time the summer-like temperatures didn’t arrive until after the 15th of the month. “In a good many regions, you have to go back to 1954 to find values as high on this date… in Paris it was 26°, whereas you had 25° this time around. You’re looking 23 or 24° in Strasbourg, 26° in Bourges and between 27° and 30° in the south: It’s worthy of weekend in August! Normally, at this time of year the average temperatures should be between 16° in the north and 19° in the south.”
The unexpected blast of summer weather was not without its problems and lots of people took to the water, even in the absence of lifeguards on the vast majority of beaches. One Austrian man drowned in the Landes while a number of other people along the Gironde coastline got into difficulties at sea.
Although temperatures for today are predicted to remain in the low twenties, this hot spell won’t last and values should drop back down to more normal levels from today onwards, with rain and fresher weather arriving in France tomorrow.