Don’t let the recent rains fool you, it’s been one of the driest starts to the year on record and 2016 had the least rainfall in a decade. Could the region be heading for a drought?
Météo France has revealed that France as a whole has experienced an exceptionally dry winter and the same is true for the French Riviera. In the last two months, just 60mm of rain has fallen on the region: 11mm in January and 47mm in February. That’s the least amount of rainfall since 2007, which itself was one of the driest years the region has experienced in living memory.
“The start of this year is effectively in deficit with less than half of usual rainfall [for this period],” climatologist Anne Schwartz told the Nice Matin.
According to Météo France, February was a relatively normal month, but in January, the rains just didn’t come. Between 3mm and 7mm fell on the mountainous parts of the region (compared to an average of over 60mm between 1981 and 2010), while just 20% of the usual precipitation fell on the coast.
September to March is the time of the year when the region replenishes in water reserves, but as much as five times the typical amount of rain will have to fall in March if there is any chances of restoring resources.
Instead of wishing for sunny days and the summer to come, perhaps we should be rain dancing for a wet spring!