January 2023 weather report: Mild, 2 storms pass, notes for plains snow
In January 2023, the average temperature in France was +0.9°C higher than the norm calculated for 1991-2020. The average temperature has been above normal for the 12th month. Rainfall in France was 5% below normal on average. We saw large regional disparities this January, with a very dry month from Languedoc to Provence (just 1.6mm in Marignan, i.e. a 97% precipitation deficit) with a very wet month in the south-west (+72% in Pau). Finally, France had an average deficit of 14%, with regional differences as well. The Bay of Lions was quite sunny with 17% more sunshine in Perpignan, while the regions from south-west to north-east were not very sunny. Nevers recorded just 35 hours of sunshine out of an average of 63 hours, a deficit of -44%.
Monthly cuteness records were broken in the New Year
A south-southwest flow brings subtropical air back to France in early 2023. As a result, temperatures rise on January 1 and monthly mild records are broken from southwest to northwest. This is the case with 24°C in Dax in Landes, 19°C in Vichy in Auvergne and 18.6°C in Colmar and Besançon, 13°C above normal for the season. It is also the mildest January 1st since 1947.
The passage of Gerard storms in the north on January 16
Storm Gerard, which swirled over northern France, was strong with locally sustained winds of more than 150 km/h over the open Atlantic and Channel coasts. Monthly wind records were broken at Belle Île (56), Saint-Nazaire (44) and Noirmoutier (85). This storm was the most severe in the Cotentin with a wind recorded at Barneville-Carteret (50) of 163 km/h.
Around 100,000 homes were left without power, particularly in Brittany and Normandy, due to strong winds associated with Hurricane Gerard. The northern Cotentin was the most affected sector, with many trees falling on roads. This storm greatly disrupted rail traffic: many Norman regional trains were cancelled. Finally, a victim must grieve because of a tree that crushed the passenger of a car traveling in the city of Saint-Mariens in the department of Gironde.
On January 17, the storm “Fien” covered the southern part of France. The strongest winds belong to the regions near the Pyrenees and Corsica. We see gusts of up to 137 km/h at Ciboure on the Basque coast and 159 km/h at Ile Rousse in Corsica and up to 181 km/h at Sponde at about 2000 m on the Corsican mountain.
There was heavy rain in southern Aquitaine and lots of snow in the Pyrenees
From January 16 to 18, a very dynamic northwesterly flow brings prolonged precipitation from a blockade near the Pyrenees. More than a month’s worth of rain falls on cities like Pau and Biarritz in less than 3 days. In the west of the Pyrenees, there is a lot of snow, about a meter of fresh snow from an altitude of about 1,800 m.
In the north of France, it snowed in the south-western plain
On January 17, the air mass was cold enough for snow to reach the plains. 3 cm of snow fell in Orléans and 5 cm in Auxerre. Snow falls isothermally in the Gironde on February 18, sparing the southwest with large snowflakes. Between 3 and 4 cm falls in the Hourtin sector and on the outskirts of Bordeaux.
© Weather Channel
It snows more in the northeast. On January 18, we see up to 9 cm of snow in Belfort (90) and up to 14 cm in Langres (52). On January 19, Lorraine and eastern Alsace received locally heavy snow of 25 cm.
Active eastern returns from Queyras to Mercantour
A snow episode occurred on the border of the Alps from January 23 to 25, with returns from the east from the Upper Mauryen and Queiras to the Mercantur massif. In sectors most exposed to humid winds from Italy, snow accumulation averages 50-60 cm, and locally reaches 80-90 cm (Isola 2000 sector).
© Weather Channel
Compared to the end of the month, calmer and drier weather prevailed, and on the last day of the month, the temperature dropped to normal for the season… February, which should be rainy according to our seasonal forecasts, will finally be here. it will be drier than expected with high pressure prevailing for at least the first half of the month.