After a slight drop in temperatures between Sunday and Monday and the discreet return of snow at mid-altitude in the mountains, a further rise in temperatures is expected in the coming days with a peak of mildness this Thursday when we will reach values worthy of a month of April in many regions and even June at the foot of the Pyrenees.
While temperatures have been above seasonal norms daily since January 22, we still do not foresee the slightest return of winter in the 10 days to come with even a new period of exceptional mildness this week between Wednesday and Thursday.
A new arrival of subtropical air over France
The weather situations seem to be repeating themselves for several weeks… While the disturbed weather will affect the north of Europe in the coming days, France will rather be located under the influence of an anticyclone installed between the Iberian Peninsula and the Central Europe with a south-oriented flow, bringing air of subtropical origin. From Tuesday afternoon, a rise in temperatures will be observed in the southwest with up to 22-23°C at the foot of the Pyrenees.
But it is especially between Wednesday and Thursday that this exceptionally mild air will invade the country. Thursday will be the mildest day of the week with a temperature indicator of 12.1°C, 6°C above normal.
Temperatures often worthy of April on Thursday afternoon
With temperatures generally between 15 and 18°C in the afternoon in the northern half, these will be values worthy of the month of April. In the south, temperatures are expected to be very mixed. The mildness will be remarkable from the southwest to the Auvergne valleys with values of 19 to 24°C. Due to the Foehn effect, 25°C may be exceeded at the foot of the Pyrenees with a temperature anomaly of +12 to +13°C compared to normal. These will be temperatures worthy of June!
On the contrary, near the Mediterranean, with a south to southeast wind coming from the sea, temperatures will be just seasonal in cities like Montpellier, Toulon or Nice.
Softness or heat records that are hard to beat…
From mid-February, periods of great mildness become more frequent, in particular because the length of the day becomes longer with the sun a little higher in the atmosphere. It is often during the last days of February that we experience the highest temperatures. Most records for mildness or heat are observed during the last days of the month. It will therefore be difficult to beat monthly mildness records, even if we risk getting closer to them at the foot of the Pyrenees or in certain valleys of the Massif-Central due to the Foehn effect.
A 0°C isotherm going back to 3500 m in the mountains
In the mountains, this great mildness will make the situation complicated for our low and medium altitude mountain resorts. With a 0°C isotherm going up to 3500 m on Thursday, the melting of the snow cover will be significant again. This melting will be more limited and will have less consequences for resorts in the Alps with ski areas above 1800/2000 m altitude, because the snow reserves there are significant.
Will the cold return by the end of February?
The chances of seeing the cold set in are very limited. Our Meteo Consult model (based on a set of models with a probabilistic approach) shows temperatures persisting above the seasonal normal until February 25. They could then return a little below normal for the last days of the month, but without any real cold offensive. This could at least make it possible to find colder air on our mountains and to envisage snowfall at much lower altitudes.