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WEATHER

Forecast: Will summer in France ever get going?

For sun-worshippers, the great French summer has been a relative disappointment so far… and the bad news is forecasters do not expect things to get much better as July eases into August.

Forecast: Will summer in France ever get going?
Holidaymakers on the beach at Saint-Malo in July 2021 Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP

With the exception of Mediterranean areas, the first two-thirds of summer 2021 in France have been a something of a damp squib – July has so far seen 60 percent more rainfall than normal for the time of year, and skies covered by more cloud than usual.

And forecasters predict that the first two weeks of August will see little change in weather patterns. Temperatures this weekend are not expected to rise above 27C anywhere in France, low for the time of year. The last summer of this cooler, wetter kind was in 2014.

“It seems fairly certain that the first two weeks of the month [of August] will be… frequently rainy, relatively cool for the season, the Mediterranean rim being more favoured,” forecaster Météo Consult said.

Usually, at this time of year, a high pressure system over the Azores extends towards the Bay of Biscay and France, guaranteeing warm and sunny weather.

This year, that regular summer high pressure system is too far away to prevent low-pressure systems circulating over western Europe – bringing rain and storms, and lower-than-normal temperatures to the northern half of the country.

On top of this, the latest models predict active storms moving from the Pyrénées towards the Alps from Tuesday. Forecasters say it could even feel quite autumnal in northern areas from Thursday, August 5th, through to Sunday, August 8th, as low pressure over Britain brings its share of clouds, wind and rain.

It is still unclear how far south the effects of this low-pressure system will be felt – so far, forecasters are only confident about saying the south-east and Mediterranean regions should escape the worst of the bad weather, and enjoy dry, sunny and warm conditions.

And it had all seemed so promising. Mid-June saw a brief early summer hot spell, with temperatures reaching 37C in Perpignan and 35C in Paris. But it didn’t last. The storms that followed preceded an extended period of rain and thunderstorms across much of the country, with temperatures well down on seasonal norms.

The good news is that the second half of August looks better than the first through the meteorologists’ long lens. Models suggest that anticyclonic conditions will return, bringing sun and rising temperatures at the back end of the summer holidays. We may even get to bask in a heatwave just before the schools reopen…

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STORMS

Weather: Germany braces for heavy rainfall through weekend

Thanks to the weather front ‘Peggy’, which is moving west over Germany, the Bundesrepublik is seeing storms strike and saying goodbye to summer weather.

Weather: Germany braces for heavy rainfall through weekend

Rain and strong gusts of winds were expected throughout Germany on Thursday, with the western part of the country to see the heaviest downpour, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

The wet weather will intensify in the afternoon, moving north to Berlin and Hamburg.

The mercury was set to stretch between 17C and 25C throughout the country, according to DWD, with northern areas experiencing the coolest temperatures.

‘Long-awaited rainfall’

The storms were welcomed in drought-hit parts of western Germany, which has seen record heat over the past few years. 

“Peggy is a heroine. She is bringing long-awaited rainfall in the dry west,” wrote DWD in its weather report Thursday. 

READ ALSO: More floods, droughts, and heatwaves: How climate change will impact Germany

Yet they also pose a risk for flooding, particularly in parts of northwestern Germany, where between 30 and 50 liters of water per square meter were predicted to fall throughout the day.

“Even if the rain is certainly more of a blessing than a curse for many, these amounts also carry the risk of flooding streets or filling up cellars,” wrote DWD.

Rain will continue around the country on Friday. In the east and southeast, the sun is expected to shine again by the late afternoon, with the mercury reaching around 21C. 

Storms stretch into weekend

Saturday will likely be the coldest day of the week with highs of only 17C in some places, particularly along the coasts. Yet eastern regions will see the mercury rise between 18C and 22C.

The DWD advised to “keep an umbrella around as a faithful companion” as the wet weather continues.

On Sunday, stormy weather will slowly calm down and the showers will retreat to the southeast parts of the country. The mercury is set to hover around a nationwide average of 22C and 23C.

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