2022, the hottest year on record in France

Regardless of our December temperature, the year 2022 will be the warmest on record for France. 2022 is a symptom of climate change in France. Remarkably in the current climate, it could be “normal” by 2050.

The highlights of 2022

2022 was the warmest year on record in France

2022 will be the warmest year on record in the country since records began in 1900. Throughout the year, the average temperature in France will exceed 14.2°C.

According to the assumptions for December, the annual temperature for the whole of 2022 will be between 14.2°C (cold December), 14.4°C or even 14.6°C (warm December).

Thus, 2022 tops the hottest year, ahead of 2020, which until now holds the record.

The ten hottest years in France since 1900

The warmest years were mostly recent years: 8 of the 10 warmest years since the beginning of the 20th century were after 2010.

Weather - 2022, The Hottest Year On Record In France

Lack of rain in large parts of the country

Average annual rainfall in France should show a deficit of 15 to 25% by the year 2022 (compared to the 1991-2020 normal). The year 1989 was till date the lowest rainy season with a deficit of 25%.

2022 was marked by record months: the months of May with a deficit of 60% and July with a deficit of 85% were very dry never recorded on the French scale since the beginning of the measurements in 1959.

A drought notable for its duration and extent

In 2022, the drought on the ground will be one of the longest and most extensive in France.

  • 2022 experienced the third longest the land’s driest period in its history. The year has been marked by a persistent lack of rain since the end of winter. Unusually warm temperatures associated with a lack of rainfall have exacerbated the drying of surface soils.
  • The 2022 drought starting in March in the climatological sense is the 3rd longest drought with a temporal duration of 8 months (behind 1989/1990 which lasted 17 months and 2005, which lasted 9 months)
  • Three quarters of the territory concerned.
  • The area affected by this drought of surface soils reaches three quarters of France. This is one of the 5 droughts that affected the most important surface of the territory. The drought was less widespread than in 1976 or 2011 but more so than in 2003.

Weather - 2022, The Hottest Year On Record In France

2022: a year marked by extraordinary milestones

The year 2022 is marked by many phases and waves of warmth and gentleness. In contrast, cold weather is almost non-existent, except for a late period of frost in early April. All months of the year were warmer than average except January and April.

Weather - 2022, The Hottest Year On Record In France

A 2022 summer of climax

Three heat waves affected France last summer, the first in June. Many heat records were broken. For example, we measured the earliest 40 ° C recorded with more than 40 ° C in Saint-Jean-de-Minervois (34) on June 16. Never before has such heat been observed so early in the season in mainland France.

Throughout the summer, the 2nd hottest in France, a record 33 days of heat waves were recorded. The summer of 1983 held the previous record with 23 days, topping 22 days in 2003.

These extraordinary heats have been accompanied by sometimes unprecedented climatological extremes, resulting in historic droughts, massive forest fires and oceanic heat waves in the Mediterranean.

Early and late heat waves

2022 is also affected by two off-season heat waves : a very early heat wave in May and a final period of unprecedented heat at the end of October.

Severe storms and tornadoes

Mostly, severe storms marked the year 2022. Violent ice storms occurred throughout the summer. In October, tornadoes were observed under violent thunderstorms, from Normandy to Nord – Pas-de-Calais.

Across Europe, the summer of 2022 was the hottest on record.

Overseas highlights


  • Rainfall deficit in the eastern part of the island from January to June.
  • There were many storms and heavy rains in September and October


  • Stormy episode and flooding from April 29 to May 1.
  • Tropical storm Fiona from September 16 to 18 and major floods: record rainfall intensities were recorded, for example in Capesterre with 401.4 mm or in Goyave-Christophe with 400 mm in 24 hours.


  • Floods in March 2022 with heavy rains in February and March. In Matoury, an absolute record was recorded for all months combined with 1057.8 mm measured, more than 3 times the normal for the month of March.

The meeting

  • In February, two typhoons hit the island just 15 days apart:
    • February 3: Cyclone Batsiraï causes heavy rains and floods;
    • from February 19 to 23: the island was affected by the long passage of severe tropical storm Emnati.

New Caledonia

  • In February, tropical storm Dovi hit New Caledonia.
  • February 2022 in New Caledonia was the stormiest February ever recorded.

French Polynesia

  • French Polynesia suffered bad weather in 2022. We can say the heavy rains in the Company from January 12 to 15, 2022: more than 200 mm fell in 24 hours. We noted 378 mm at Papenoo.
  • From July 12 to 14, 2022, a very strong swell episode hit the archipelago with waves of 4 to 6 meters.

2022: clear description of climate change in France

So hot in the current climate, the year 2022 will be “normal” for the middle of the 21st century.

Summer heat events associated with climate change

The spectacular summer episodes of 2022 are likely to be less likely and less intense without the effects of climate change. To qualify the part of anthropogenic climate change in our climate today, our researchers conduct so-called attribution studies.

How do we qualify the influence of climate change?

Attribution studies are being conducted. To make these calculations, climate simulations from 1850, the beginning of the industrial age, were used. Before this date, it was considered that the climate was not influenced by human activities.

From these simulations, we estimate the probability of observing heat waves in 2022 at least as strong as those actually observed. This calculation is done, alternately, in the factual world (including human influence) and the counterfactual world (without human disturbance of the climate). The two probabilities obtained are then compared to quantify the importance of human influence. We do the same thing to evaluate the intensity effect, this time by reasoning with a given probability of occurrence.

More frequent and intense heat waves, occurring earlier and later in the season

  • Early heat wave from June 15 to 19, 2022

This 5-day heat wave is the earliest recorded (measurements begin in 1947) at the national level. This early heat wave would be 10 times less likely to occur in a climate not warmed by human activities and would be 1.6 to 1.8°C less intense.

In 2040, this type of episode would be two to three times more frequent than in the current climate and 0.7°C more intense.

  • Heat waves from July 12 to 25 and from July 31 to August 13, 2022

These summer heat waves of 14 days each would be 8 times less likely to occur in a climate not warmed by human activities and would be 2°C less intense.

In 2040, this type of episode would be twice as frequent as in the current climate and 1°C more intense.

  • An almost impossible summer season in a non-hot climate

During the entire period of May – June – July – August 2022, the average temperature anomaly reached 3.78°C. Studies estimate that this period would be nearly impossible in a climate not warmed by humans – this summer period has been made about 500 times more likely with anthropogenic climate change and 1.5 up to 1.9 degrees warmer.

Globally, it is currently estimated that by 2022 the global average temperature will exceed the pre-industrial average (period 1850-1900) by approximately 1.15°C. Despite the cooling caused by a planetary context “La Niña” extending for three consecutive years, the year 2022 will be the fifth or sixth warmest year on record on earth. So, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the last eight years are on track to be the eight hottest years on record on the planet, sign of the worsening effects of climate change.

The continent of Europe is the fastest warming. Over the past thirty years, a temperature increase of more than twice the global average has been recorded there, with a warming of about +0.5°C per decade.

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