16 MarLocal Time: 10:02 CET UK Time: 09:02 GMT
- Sunrise 07:01
- Sunset 18:56
- Moonrise 19:01
- Moonset 06:36
|Temp feels like:||9°c (48°f)|
|Length of Day:||8h 18m|
|Dew Point:||7 °c (45°f)|
|Pressure:||30.30 " (1026 hpa)|
Average for March: 8.5°c (47.3°f)
Weather Overview for Paris
Paris has a temperate, oceanic climate with warm summers and cold winters. There is a marked difference between the seasons but extreme hot or cold temperatures are rare. Rainfall is moderate and steady year round. The city is known for its sudden rain showers, although its annual average rainfall is low compared with other regions in France.
France’s location on Europe’s Atlantic coast means its weather is greatly affected by weather blowing in from the ocean. As in England, this means regular rain and an absence of extreme temperatures. Western France is generally quite flat, allowing these conditions to blow uninhibited far inland, staving off a more continental climate that might be expected of Paris’ north central location.
Summer is generally warm in Paris, with the occasional heat wave. Peak summer is July and August and daytime highs are regularly in the mid-20s. The temperature won’t fall much below the mid-teens at night. Paris, as in the rest of France, often experiences summer heat waves when temperatures can rise into the 30s. This can feel uncomfortable, especially at night. During the famous 2003 heat wave across Europe, temperatures in Paris touched 40°C. Paris is a city of culture, far from the coast, and you should make sure you’re prepared for the heat, crowds and walking involved in a summer sightseeing trip. One of the plus sides of hot summer weather is that the city comes alive at the end of the day. A festival atmosphere, fine food and wine can be enjoyed on the long, balmy evenings, right into the night.
Rainfall levels are moderate but the occasional downpour could fall at any time. The rain can arrive quickly and unexpectedly, often in the form of violent thunderstorms as the heat and humidity builds and builds. Thunderstorms are likeliest in August and September, especially on particularly hot years. Summer months average about 60mm of rain which is actually slightly higher than in London. On average you can expect about 12 days in the month to have some rainfall. This means summer sees slightly more rain on average than the rest of the year, but fewer rainy days. This is due to the fact that summer rain generally falls in heavy showers – don’t be caught out without your brolly! Despite the rain, sunshine levels are pretty good in summer, peaking in June and July at eight hours per day.
In short, you will be hot in Paris in summer, but be prepared for some rain and the odd cool evening.
Autumn is a time of change. The summer weather quickly gives way to the start of winter. It is still warm in late September but starts to cool quite quickly. October sees average highs of 15°C and November only 10°C. Night time lows drop into single figures from the end of September, reaching a chilly average low of 8°C in October. Sunshine levels start out well but quickly drop and November can be rather grey with an average of two hours of sunshine per day. Early autumn is beautiful as the parks and tree-lined avenues turn golden, and if you’re prepared for the cool temperatures it can be a fantastic time to visit if you’re trying to avoid the crowds. Rainfall in autumn is much the same as at any time of the year, with a monthly average of around 50mm. In November showers are more likely than brief storms.
Winters are quite cold in Paris: January, the coldest month on average, sees highs of 6°C and lows of 1°C. The surrounding months are only marginally warmer. It regularly falls below freezing but not by very much and rarely in the day. Sunshine levels are low at around two hours per day. Rainfall levels are, again, around 50mm per month, though you’ll get more grey drizzly days than proper showers, and the rain can be incredibly cold. December and January see an average of 16 or 17 wet days each. The weather is generally very similar to that found in the UK.
Snow is sometimes seen, though it is uncommon. When snow does fall, Paris looks truly beautiful, as indeed it does on any clear crisp winter’s day. The effects of the city – thousands of clustered, heated buildings, cars and people – mean that temperatures are often one or two degrees warmer than outside the city. This is known as the ‘urban heat island effect’.
The winter of 2009 was particularly harsh across Europe. Unusually cold and snowy weather prevailed for the entire winter and into early spring. In mid December five Eurostar trains were trapped for sixteen hours in the Chunnel between the UK and France due to the unforeseen extreme weather.
The cold winter weather gives way to warmer temperatures and longer days. The bare trees shrug on green leaves and blossom. March signals the arrival of change as temperatures once again regularly climb into double figures. Evenings in early spring can still be chilly but by May the weather is much more summer-like with the arrival of sunny days in the 20s. Early spring has statistically the lowest rainfall of the year, but in truth you should always be aware of the possibility of showers.
The weather averages only tell you a general story of what weather to expect; in reality you can get a cool, wet summer period or a particularly mild winter. Weather from year to year is different. There is not much ‘freak weather’ that threatens Paris, but the summer of 2003 saw a heat wave killing many elderly.
1910 saw the ‘Great Flood of Paris’. After several months of
high rainfall the river
Seine gradually began
flooding the city. The river didn’t actually burst its banks but the water
slowly crept through sewers, drains and subway tunnels until it began filling
basements and finally the streets. In total 200,000 people we made homeless.
They gathered together in government buildings, schools and churches, and moved
around the city on a series of hastily built wooden footbridges or in boats. The
waters reached a maximum height of 8.62 metres (6.9 metres above normal levels) and
the streets remained flooded for over a week.
A freak hurricane force wind struck
in December 2004. The storm struck
without warning and only lasted a few minutes but caused havoc across Paris and
northern France. Six people were killed
and tens of thousands of homes were left without power as winds reached speeds
of up to 80 mph. The Eiffel tower and other attractions were also temporarily
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