Weather in France

by Christine Cantera  

Although France is just about the size of Texas, the varied terrain means the weather depends entirely on where you are in the country. Obviously, the Mediterranean coast is not going to experience the same kind of winter as Normandy or the Alps. That being said, all of France does experience four distinct seasons, with generally warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.

Seasons and Average Temperatures in Regions of France

Paris

Paris has a very similar climate to the rest of central and eastern France, with warm summers and cold, fairly dry winters. Rain can fall year round, but Fall and Spring are great times to visit with pleasant temperatures and a drop in rainfall.

Average temperatures in Paris:

  • January: 40
  • February: 41.8
  • March: 45.6
  • April: 50
  • May: 57.2
  • June: 60.1
  • July: 68.7
  • August: 69
  • September: 66.3
  • October: 58.3
  • November: 49.6
  • December: 43.2

Alps

As is the case in most mountain communities, the Alps two major seasons for visitors are summer and winter. While fall can also be a nice time to see the foliage and do some hiking, most people come to the mountains to swim in the alpine lakes in the summer or hit the slopes in the winter. At higher elevations in the Alps you should expect cold, snowy winters and warm (sometimes wet) summers. At lower elevations , winters are less harsh and summers can be very hot. Thunderstorms are frequent in the late summer months. Of course it is important to keep in mind that the higher elevation you travel to, the colder the weather regardless if it is January or July.

Average temperatures in the French Alps:

  • January: 35.6
  • February: 37.4
  • March: 42.8
  • April: 48.2
  • May: 55.4
  • June: 62.6
  • July: 69.8
  • August: 66.2
  • September: 60.8
  • October: 55.4
  • November: 42.8
  • December: 39.2

Provence and Côte d’Azur

This area in the south of France is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters with little snow and lots of sunshine. Fall is a great time ti visit this area, when the summer heat and crowds are gone, but the weather is still warm and pleasant. Provence also experiences winter winds called the Mistral, which is a cold, dry wind that blows from the Rhone Valley and can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour.

Average Temperatures in Provence:

  • January: 53.6
  • February: 53.6
  • March: 57.2
  • April: 65
  • May: 69
  • June: 80.1
  • July: 82.4
  • August: 82.4
  • September: 76.3
  • October: 71.6
  • November: 62.1
  • December: 57.2

Mid-Pyrenees

This semi-mountainous region of France is actually one of the sunniest areas in the entire country. While winters can get cold, this region frequently experiences Indian summers in the Fall with warm temperatures through the autumn as well as early spring weather.

Average Temperatures in the Pyrenees:

  • January: 50
  • February: 48.2
  • March: 54.1
  • April: 64.9
  • May: 66.4
  • June: 79.5
  • July: 81.7
  • August: 81
  • September: 77
  • October: 66.7
  • November: 59.9
  • December: 49.6

Loire Valley

This area in the middle west of France is known for its pleasant weather year round, with mild spring and autumns, tolerably chilly winters and hot, sunny summers.

Average Temperatures in the Loire:

  • January: 41.7
  • February: 43.2
  • March: 46.6
  • April: 50.7
  • May: 56.5
  • June: 62.4
  • July: 66.4
  • August: 65.7
  • September: 62.2
  • October: 55.6
  • November: 47.5
  • December: 42.8

Brittany and Normandy

These regions bordering the Atlantic and English Channel coasts in France has a temperature largely moderated by the presence of the ocean. This means fairly mild (though sometimes rainy) winters and warm, but not hot, summers. There is also fairly high humidity year round, which makes the cold weather feel colder and the hot weather feel hotter.

Average Temperatures in Brittany and Normandy:

  • January: 42.8
  • February: 41
  • March: 44.6
  • April: 48.2
  • May: 55.3
  • June: 64.8
  • July: 73.4
  • August:74
  • September: 61.6
  • October: 53.1
  • November: 48.2
  • December: 46.4

Alsace

Alsace enjoys one of the lowest annual rainfall numbers in all of France. While you will definitely encounter snow and colder temperatures int he winter, spring and summer in Alsace are lovely. Brightly colored daffodils replace the snow in April, and throughout the summer the countryside gets more and more colorful. The summer months can be quite warm, but the mountains provide a nearby escape from the heat. The end of summer is probably the least ideal time to visit since it is the hottest and most crowded.

Average temperatures in Alsace (high/low):

  • Jan.: 39/30
  • Feb.: 42/30
  • March: 51/40
  • April: 57/40
  • May: 66/48
  • June: 75/54
  • July: 76/57
  • August: 76/56
  • Sept.: 69/51
  • Oct.: 58/44
  • Nov.: 47/36
  • Dec.: 41/32

Also, here are some helpful posts about various times of the year in France:

>>Interactive weather map of France and current temperatures
>>
What to wear in France in the summer
>>
What to wear in France in the winter

Once you figure out when you’re coming, your next step is to find cheap flights to France! And of course you’ll need accommodations, too:

Need anything else? Email me at france@whygo.com, or follow me at Twitter on @WhyGoFrance!

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