Weather: ski resorts, the latest victims of the hottest year

Although this last week of the year was marked by mild weather that forced ski resorts to close half of their slopes, Météo-France is compiling its weather report for 2022. The historical year, one of the hottest, is marked by exceptional events. to global warming.

The mildness of this end of the year completes 2022, which will be one of the warmest years ever recorded by Météo-France. “Christmas 2022 was remarkably mild across the country, with a national temperature of 11.3°C on 25 December (an anomaly of +5.5°C above normal), making Christmas the second warmest Christmas since 1997 takes place”, explains Météo-France, which emphasizes that “temperatures in recent years have often been mild, even quite mild at this time of the year”. But we are far from a very cold Christmas, as in 1962, when the thermometer fell to – 17.0 ° C in Vichy, – 9 ° C in Tarbes, – 7.5 ° C in Paris or – 4.5 ° C in Perpignan.

Air year 2022
Meteo France

This sweet final week of celebrations crowns an exceptional 2022 anyway, which will be “the warmest year France has ever recorded. Météo-France believes that 2022 is a sign of climate change in France, with 2022 set to be the warmest year on record in the country since records began in 1900. Throughout the year, the average temperature in France will be more than 14.2°C. According to the assumptions for December, the annual temperature for all of 2022 will be between 14.2°C (cold December), 14.4°C and even 14.6°C (warm December). Thus, 2022 ranks first among the hottest years, well ahead of the previous record holder, 2020. »

Air year 2022

Air year 2022
Meteo France

Exclusive episodes this summer

The first dramatic result: the lack of rain affecting much of the country. “Average annual precipitation in France should show a 15-25% deficit for 2022 (compared to the 1991-2020 norm). 1989 is the least rainy year with a deficit of 25%. 2022 was marked by record months: May with a deficit of 60% and July with a deficit of 85% are the driest months recorded on a French scale since measurements began in 1959.

The second characteristic feature of this year: the drought, remarkable for its duration and extent. “The drought that began in March 2022 is the 3rd longest climate-wise drought at 8 months (after 1989-1990, which lasted 17 months, and 2005, which lasted 9 months). Three-quarters of the area is affected,” Météo-France said.

Half of the ski slopes were closed

Finally, 2022 will be remembered for exceptional episodes, with all months except January and April being warmer than normal. “The second hottest heatwave of the whole summer, a record number of 33 days, was recorded in France. The summer of 1983 held the previous record with 23 days, ahead of 2003’s 22 days. These unusual temperatures have been accompanied by sometimes unprecedented extreme climate conditions in the Mediterranean, resulting in historic droughts, large wildfires and ocean heat waves,” explains Metéo. In addition to “two unseasonal heat waves in 2022 (a very early heat wave in May and a late episode of unprecedented heat at the end of October)”, France stressed that it was affected by lightning, especially granges, and tornadoes. Finally, this very mild end of the year affects ski resorts that need snow: melting and rain are currently causing the closure of half of France’s ski slopes, according to data from Domaines skiables de France (DSF).

In any case, for Météo-France, this year 2022 is a good example of the consequences of global warming. “The remarkable summer episodes of 2022 would have been much more difficult and significantly less intense without the effects of climate change.”

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