Drought and heat wave: around a new record summer in France

With less than 20 millimeters of rain that fell on average on the country, this month of July has been the driest since 1959.


There have been rains and thunderstorms during the weekend, but that will not change anything: France is experiencing a particularly dry summer again. If it is too early to draw up a complete assessment of August, it will certainly be classified extraordinary, with rains lower than the reference averages of Météo -France -corresponding to the years between 1981 and 2010 -, taking into account the heat wave episodes and heat peaks. Especially since it happens after an early summer qualified as “exceptional” by the meteorological service.

The year 2020 was not really bad, however, with significant recharges of underground tablecloths thanks to the abundant precipitation of winter, then a warm and dry start of spring followed by significant rains in May and June. But July turned out to be catastrophic: with less than 20 millimeters of rain fallen on average on the country, it is placed in the forefront of the least watered months of the period 1959-2020 according to Météo-France, far ahead of July 1964 and 1979.

At 1 er August, the deficit, which takes into account precipitation, temperatures and soil humidity compared to the averages from 1981 to 2010, was more than 70 % and already touched almost all of the country. This indicator even reached 90 % locally in the Northeast, the Pays de la Loire and the South West, apart from the Pyrenees.

In July, it fell a little water on Finistère and Nord-Pas-de-Calais (30 to 50 millimeters accumulated), a little more on the Alps and the Pyrénées-Orientales (at least 75 mm ), but less than 5 mm, if not a drop of the Meuse in the south of Champagne, on Ile-de-France, Center-Val de Loire, the Pays de la Loire, northern New Aquitaine , Occitania, Provence, west of Corsica …

“Since September 2019, every month has experienced higher temperatures than normal, except May, highlights Michèle Blanchard, climatologist at Météo-France. In recent years, with very hot and dry summer rehearsal , it rains less and less on the Mediterranean perimeter, but this area was already very little watered previously. What is remarkable are the deficits that now affect the Grand-Est, Burgundy, Franche-Comté … In these regions , the vegetation does not have its happy water for the third year in a row. “

Result, the instructions for restriction on water uses have multiplied since the beginning of summer. On August 31, 180 orders still called the population to vigilance or limit the watering of gardens, green spaces and crops in the majority of the departments of the metropolis.

/Media reports.