32 days without real rain in France, a new historic record
Metropolitan France has not experienced any real rain for 32 days, the longest meteorological drought ever recorded, which should however end on Wednesday with the return of some precipitation, we learned from Météo -France.
From January 21 to February 21, the total aggregate rainfall on mainland France was less than 1 mm every day, i.e. “the longest series since the start of measurements in 1959”, said the public body.
The episode is all the more worrying as it occurs in winter, a period of crucial groundwater recharge, in a context of chronic rainfall deficit since August 2021 and after an exceptional drought and heat waves in 2022, illustrating the consequences of the global warming.
This consecutive series now exceeds that of the year 2020, which occurred for 31 days between March 17 and April 16, in the midst of the first Covid-19 confinement .
The passage on Wednesday of a low rainfall area, arriving from the west of the country, should however put an end to it, without however fueling optimism: “the month of February 2023 should end with a rainfall deficit of more than 50% , thus becoming one of the driest February months ever recorded”, has already forecast Météo-France.
This record is part of a long-term meteorological drought, since “since August 2021, all months have had a rain deficit with the exception of December 2021, June 2022 and September 2022”, according to Météo-France.
“In addition to the lack of rain, it has been warmer than normal in France for twelve months in a row”, and “February could be the thirteenth of this unprecedented series” since the first reliable data from 1947, adds the national forecasting service.
“France is on alert”, acknowledged Wednesday the Minister of Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu on Franceinfo, on the front line to face the tensions already observable on the use water.
“We are about 2 months late in terms of filling” groundwater tables, added the minister, who will bring together prefects on Monday to “take restrictive measures that are soft from March to avoid ending up in catastrophic arbitration situations” as summer approaches.
Departments are already suffering: the Pyrénées-Orientales have been on drought alert continuously since June and the majority of the Var, in turn placed on drought alert on Friday.< /p>