Current Climate

Climatology

This page presents France's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit.  Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list. Data for  specific coordinates can be downloaded for in the Data Download page.

Observed, historical data is produced by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of University of East Anglia. Data is presented at a 0.5º x 0.5º (50km x 50km) resolution.

 

Overall, mainland France enjoys a temperate climate. However, regions experience climates that vary according to their latitude, altitude and their proximity to the sea and to the three major mountain ranges (Pyrenees, Massif Central, Alps). There are five main types of climates in mainland France: oceanic, altered oceanic, semi-continental, mountainous, and Mediterranean.

Temperature

  • As on a global scale, average annual temperatures in mainland France show a clear warming trend since 1900. This warming has progressed at a variable rate, with a particularly marked increased since the 1980s.
  • On average, between 2001 and 2013 the glaciers studied in mainland France have lost the equivalent of 18.8 metres of water, i.e. a 21-metre loss in ice thickness.

Precipitation

  • Rainfall has been decreasing in most of the country, particularly north of Aquitaine in the North-East and in Aude, Hérault and Lozère with a deficit exceeding 20%.

This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.