France has matched its file dry spell of 31 days with out important rainfall, the nation’s climate service mentioned Tuesday, amid considerations over water reserves in components of Europe nonetheless reeling from final yr’s extreme drought.
Winter is generally an important interval for recharging groundwater ranges with rainfall.
The variety of days with out rain has “by no means been seen” in winter earlier than in information going again to 1959, Meteo France mentioned Tuesday.
Final month was the third-warmest January on file in Europe, with temperatures on New 12 months’s Day reaching all-time highs in some components of the continent, based on the European Union’s Copernicus local weather monitor (C3S).
Europe endured its second-hottest yr ever in 2022, with France, Britain, Spain and Italy setting new common temperature information.
The warmth was compounded by extreme drought, unprecedented in centuries, throughout the area.
Crops withered in European breadbaskets and the historic dry spell drove file wildfire depth and positioned extreme stress on the continent’s energy grid and water reserves.
The World Climate Attribution service final yr calculated that the agricultural and ecological drought over the Northern Hemisphere was a minimum of 20 occasions likelier due to human-caused local weather change, warning that such excessive dry durations would change into more and more frequent with international heating.
In Spain, one of many European nations most uncovered to the danger of drought, water reserves are at the moment at a median 50.7 p.c of capability, in comparison with a median of 60.8 p.c over the past 10 years, based on the most recent nationwide hydrological bulletin.
However in some areas the state of affairs is way extra critical.
Barcelona and enormous swathes of Spain’s northeastern area of Catalonia have imposed water restrictions because of the lack of rain.
The measures embrace banning the usage of ingesting water to clean the outside of homes or vehicles or to fill swimming swimming pools, and lowering the quantity of water used for irrigation.
Meteo France mentioned the present dry interval within the nation was not anticipated to final for much longer, with rain forecast within the south of the nation on Wednesday.
The earlier file for a winter dry spell in France was 22 days in 1989.