As 2022 now looks certain to claim a respectable place among the warmest years ever recorded in mainland France, 31 December is likely to boost the national average, according to weather forecasters.
"We will most certainly have the mildest 31 December since measurements began in 1947," say sweating forecasters at the national weather service, Météo France.
The average temperature for the whole country could exceed 8 degrees Celsius. That means 23 degrees Celsius in Dax in the south-west, and 16 degrees Celsius in Paris.
In the past 75 years, the recorded temperature on New Year's Day has exceeded a national average of 8 degrees Celsius on only three occasions.
The Christmas period was also unusually mild this year, with the average temperature on 24 and 25 December being the highest ever recorded.
And the first few days of January 2023 are expected to remain particularly mild.
Climate change, linked to human activities and in particular the burning of fossil fuels, has already caused global warming of 1.2°C.
As a result of this phenomenon, which affects all regions of the globe, the subtropical air arriving in France is much warmer than it was thirty or fifty years ago.
Mild weather in eastern Europe
Over the next few days, the whole of Europe is likely to be affected by this winter warmth and even higher temperatures than in France could be recorded in Germany, Poland or the Baltic States.
Although less difficult for people to bear than heatwaves, exceptionally mild winter periods have many negative consequences, particularly for endangered species and ecosystems.
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