June climate in France: thunderstorms and first heat waves

June climate in France: thunderstorms and first heat waves
June climate in France: thunderstorms and first heat waves

Through Regis CREPET, meteorologist
Posted on 05/20/20, updated on 06/01/21 at 11:42 am

Every beginning of the month, The Weather Channel presents the main climatic characteristics that prevail at this time of the year in mainland France. The month of June marks the beginning of summer, with the longest days and possible first heat waves. Thunderstorms are often violent at this time of year. Here is what the months of June in France can hold in store for you.

June is a summer month with the summer solstice the longest day. The hexagon can then experience the first heat waves of the summer as well as violent thunderstorms. It is often an ideal month to take an off-season vacation. However, the good weather is not always there and heavy rains can occur. In high mountains, the snowpack is maintained and the vegetation has not yet reached its maximum development due to the altitude.

(photo in video illustration: stormy sky over Paris, June 2017, @Bertrand Kulik on flickr)

June temperatures: the first heat waves

Although June is characterized by the longest days, with the summer solstice on the 21st, it does not have the warmest average temperatures due to atmospheric inertia. It is the 3rd hottest month in France. Despite everything, it is the month of the first real heat waves, and even the first heat waves. Some months of June were very hot: 2003, 2006 or 2019 are striking examples, where temperatures could reach 40 ° C in the southern half. As for the extremes, they range from -4.1 ° C at Mouthe (25) on the morning of June 13, 1956 and June 30, 1960, to 45.9 ° C at Gallargues-le-Montueux (Gard) during the June 2019 heat wave, setting the new absolute heat record for metropolitan France in all months.

Main extreme values ​​recorded in June

Min Max

-4.1 ° C, June 30, 1960 in Mouthe (25) 45.9 ° C, June 28, 2019 in Gallargues (30)

-2.4 ° C, June 5, 1991, in Charleville (08) 44.4 ° C, June 28, 2019 in Nîmes (30)

-0.8 ° C, June 5, 1976 in Romorantin (41) 43.5 ° C, June 28, 2019, in Montpellier (34)

-0.6 ° C, June 5, 1991 in Evreux (27) 40.9 ° C, June 26, 2019, in Clermont-Fd (63)

-0.6 ° C, June 3, 1962 in St Etienne (42) 38.8 ° C, June 30, 2019 in Strasbourg (67)

A very clear warming trend since the 2000s

As for the spring season as a whole, the months of June have experienced significant warming since the 2000s in mainland France. Of course, the heat of June is not a new fact, but the averages increased by almost 3 ° C between the 1990s and the 2000s. The coolest months of June were observed in 1923 and 1972, with a series cool and humid between 1950 and 1975. The last month of June below average was in 2013. The hottest was that of 2003, the summer of the great heatwave, with + 4.1 ° C above average, followed by 2017 and 1976, the year of “the great drought”. Remarkable and early heatwaves occurred there in particular in 2003, 2005, 2006, then 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Sunshine in June: the longest days

The month of June marks the longest day of the year on the 21st, at the time of the solstice. The sunshine is therefore particularly generous, which explains why the heat is sometimes scorching. We find in France the traditional north-south gradient, with 100 more hours of sun in Nice than in Lille, for example. This is due to the passage of some attenuated disturbances along the Channel and North Sea coasts, bringing cloudy passages, while the south now enjoys full summer sun. In this season, let us indicate that the coasts are sunnier than the mountains, on which the stormy clouds bud by diurnal evolution.

Precipitation: heavy thunderstorms

At this time of year, the Atlantic depressions are shallow and located at high latitudes. Other lows, associated with cold drops, can lead to transient stormy weather in the Mediterranean. In general, the June rains are mainly stormy, and especially localized near the reliefs: Pyrenees, Southern Alps mainly. Thus, the hexagonal division is rather west-east, with only 32.4 mm in Belle-Ile (56) against 71.6 mm in Strasbourg. There is an average of 34 mm in Nice and 64 mm monthly in Lille. Notable floods occurred in mountainous areas, with, for example, June 2013 in the Pyrenees (the city of Lourdes is ravaged), or on June 15, 2010, flash floods linked to violent storms claimed 23 victims in Draguignan ( Var). River floods are almost non-existent in summer, because the disturbances are no longer active enough and evaporation is significant, but there are some exceptions, such as the Seine flood in early June 2016, or even, in the past, the great flood. de la Garonne in June 1875, when Marshal Mac-Mahon had this now famous exclamation “That water, that water”, arriving in Toulouse.

Main weather events that have occurred in June since 1900

Heat waves and heat waves

1931 : 37 ° C is recorded in Clermont-Fd (63).

1947 : it is 32 ° C to 38 ° C throughout France, with 35 ° C in Chartres, 38 ° C in Paris and Bordeaux, 40 ° C in Auxerre.

1976 : drought and heat wave in particular over the northern half of France with 36 ° C in Rennes and Bourges, in two waves (from 6 to 15, then from 22).

1996 : 34 ° C in Paris, 37 ° C in Montpellier.

1998 : 33 ° C in Dinard, 36 ° C in Bordeaux.

2002 : heatwave with 38.4 ° in Montluçon on June 17.

2003 : the heatwave persists for a good part of the month with 38 ° C in the Loire, Colmar (68) and Toulouse, 40.6 ° C in the Nièvre and 41.5 ° C in Lézignan (11). This is the hottest month of June recorded in France, with a record number of days above 30 ° C.

2005 : large heat wave from June 18 to 28 (35 ° to 38 ° C).

2006 : real heatwave, starting on the 10th, with temperatures often between 35 ° and 40 °, particularly in the south-east and in the Rhône valley (over 30 ° C every day in Lyon from the 18th, with a maximum at 38 ° C).

2015 : heat records with 37 ° C in Nantes and 40.2 ° C in Cazaux (33) on June 30.

2017 : remarkable heat wave from June 18 to 22 with up to 37 ° C in Paris and 34 ° C in Dieppe (76) and 40 ° C in the Gard.

2019 : exceptional heat wave at the end of June, with the absolute heat record in France set at 45.9 ° C in Gallargues-le-Montueux (30). It is also 42 ° C in Saumur (49) and Paris, breaking the 1947 record.

Blows of freshness and snow

1936: frosts damage the crops in Champagne.

1962: -0.2 ° C in Vichy (03), -0.6 ° C in St-Etienne (42), and + 0.4 ° C in Reims.

1980: 5 cm of snow fell in Bourg-St-Maurice (73) at an altitude of 900 m.

1984: snow falls from 800 m on the reliefs, with 60 cm of snow in Villards-de-Lans (Vercors) at an altitude of 1050 m, and 40 cm in Val d’Isère.

1989: it freezes in Touquet (62) with -0.7 ° C!

1991: cold records with 0 ° C in Nevers (58), -1 ° C in Evreux (27) and -2.4 ° C in Charleville-Mézières on June 5.

2001: late frost with -1 ° C in Fontainebleau (77).

Thunderstorms and tornadoes:

1901: violent thunderstorms in central regions causing a tornado in Eure-et-Loir and setting trees in Senlis (60).

1902: a tornado kills 1 in Hte-Loire.

1904: a storm causes a torrent of murderous mud in Mamers (72), 17 victims.

1914: a historic storm kills 11 in Paris, the roads are smashed by water.

1967: on June 24, a series of tornadoes devastated Nord Pas-de-Calais (8 dead). A gust is measured at 200 km / h at Boulogne sur Mer!

1982: huge thunderstorm flooding Paris where it falls 100 mm in one evening.

1986: thunderstorms sweep across the Ile de France with gusts of 112 km / h in Melun.

1987: an unforeseen thunderstorm sweeps the southwest with gusts of 115 km / h in Bordeaux (5 dead).

1990 and 1991 were very stormy with gusts of up to 122 km / h at Le Bourget and 140 km / h at Orly.

1997: on June 16, a violent storm caused the flood in Seine-Maritime with flash floods in St Martin de Boscherville (near Rouen), killing 4 people.

1999: the wind reached 133 km / h in Strasbourg when a powerful thunderstorm passed.

2003: the 1is June, mudslides devastate Trouville (14) during a torrential storm.

2013: an EF3 tornado breaks out in Burgundy.

2014: from June 8 to 10, a series of thunderstorms with giant hailstones (10 cm) bombard the Ile de France then the Center. The damage is considerable.


2000 : June 10, flood of the Garonne following torrential rains on the Pyrenees.

2010 : on June 15, stationary thunderstorms spilled nearly 400 mm in 24 hours in the Var, causing the Draguignan disaster (flash flood) and the death of 23 people.

2013 : major flood of the Gave de Pau, devastating the city of Lourdes (65), causing 3 deaths and more than 10 million Euros in damage.

2016 : exceptional flood of the Seine in Paris following uninterrupted rains since the end of May.

2020 : an atypical Cevennes episode for the season spills up to 450 mm of rain in Lozère, causing floods (Gardons, Loire, Allier) exceeding the 2008 references.


Winter storms are very rare, but some may have been surprising for the season.

1965 : June 16, unexpected storm over the northern half of France with 137 km / h in Brittany and 155 km / h in Langres (52).

2019 : on June 7, storm Miguel blows in the west with 129 km / h at Ile d’Yeux (85). This is a record for a month of June.

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