Cold and frost records for Sunday and Monday 02/04/2022

Winter returned loudly on April 1, and it was not April Fool’s Day! A real cold stream that caused snowfall on the plains (including in the southern regions with flakes observed in Toulouse), and several tens of centimeters on reliefs to low altitude (see our news on this snow string on Weather-Cities). >>).

But besides the snow, we are really talking about the cold, which will be talked about in the coming days. At the beginning of April, temperatures are well below the seasonal norm… and on April 1 and 2, monthly cold records were broken!

On the afternoon of this Friday, April 1, the temperature of the thermometer did not exceed 3-4 ° C in the Paris basin and part of the Center-Val de Loire, which is unheard of in some resorts in April, despite continuous climate series for more than 70 years old. years (Orleans, Chateaudun, Melun, Romorantin).

Maximum observed temperature – April 1, 2022 – Weather-Cities

This Saturday, April 2, the temperature was also exceptionally cold in the east, from the Massif Central to Alsace, where we did not exceed 2-3°C. At some stations of the Central massif, no thaws were observed up to low altitudes.

At Courpierre (Puy-de-Dôme) the daily maximum is -0.9°C for a station only 455 m above sea level. No thaw on an April day on the plain (stations

Maximum observed temperature – April 2, 2022 – Weather-Cities

But it is the minimum temperatures that should be carefully studied over the next few days. If the first monthly records were broken off the Mediterranean this Saturday morning, it will mostly have to keep an eye on the frost expected on Sunday morning and Monday.

During these two mornings, the frosts should have spread or even almost spread over the entire country (only the coast or areas around the Mediterranean could really avoid this).

Chance of frost – morning of Saturday 2, Sunday 3, Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 April 2022 – Model PEArpège via Météociel

In the early morning of Sunday, April 3, temperatures will often fluctuate between 0 and -3°C in many regions of France. Locally, peaks around -5°C are possible in the Ardennes plains or in some Alpine valleys.

Frosts that will turn out to be even stronger on Monday morning, with temperatures that drop below -5 ° C from the Massif Central to Alsace through the south of Burgundy. Franche-Comté can see really icy near-record temperatures approaching -8°C (or even much lower in some Jura valleys).

Expected minimum temperatures – Sunday 3 April and Monday 4 April 2022 – Wetter Online

And these widespread frosts will not remain without consequences for agriculture … Because, if there were always frosts in April, then ever milder winters and earlier heat shocks give rise to earlier flowering of vegetation. The relative softness observed in February and March was particularly conducive to bud opening (so-called “bud break”). Bud opening is noticeably ahead of the beginning of April due to the noticeable softness observed at the very end of March.

On the mornings of Friday, April 1st and Saturday, April 2nd, several observed frosts resulted in the first losses in some areas of stone fruit crops (particularly apricot, cherry, plum, peach) according to ITK’s models. Locally, they are estimated to account for 50% of those two mornings in Limousin, the region currently hardest hit.

Observation map of production loss due to frost on stone fruits – April 1 and 2, 2022Twitter Serge Zaka / ITK

The next two mornings will be the most unsettling due to the increasing cold. Losses of stone fruits in one night from Belgium to Normandy amounted to more than 50%.

But it is precisely the night from Sunday to Monday that can have catastrophic consequences for these same agricultural areas, where a complete loss of production is possible in the north-eastern quarter and a loss of more than 50% in a large third of France. Serge Zaka (agroclimatologist at ITC).

Frost Loss Modeling for Stone Fruits – Forecasts April 3-5, 2022Twitter Serge Zaka / ITK

Vegetation impacts could be similar to those seen in early April 2021. As a reminder, a strong cold shower changed heat records with a difference of several days between the end of March and the beginning of April 2021, which led to a strong French agricultural event.

Locations of stations with heat records at the end of March 2021, then cold records at the beginning of April 2021 – Weather-Cities

After temperatures exceeded 25°C all the way to the northern regions at the end of March 2021, winter-worthy cold invaded all regions in the first decade of April, when temperatures fell well below seasonal average, especially on nights when many cold records are April. Among them we note -7.4°С in Saint-Etienne, -6.9°C in Beauvais -5.4°C in Orleans or -4.2°C to Avignon.

This frost was devastating to crops, especially fruit trees, including grapes. In the Drome and Ardèche, some estates lose 80% of future crops. France has just experienced its worst agricultural disaster since at least 1947, due to frost, and many departments have been declared in a state of “agricultural disaster”.

Frost control braziers in the vineyards of Chablis (Yonne) April 6, 2021 – photo Titouan Rimbaud

Vines damaged by frost in Anyang in Hero, April 8, 2021 – Photo by Mas Laval via Instagram

Frost-burned apple blossom in Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise) April 7, 2021 – via Firmin76 on Twitter

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