Mont Aigoual, between Gard and Lozère, has been collecting meteorological data for over a century. This year, the heat records are linked. A situation on which Météo France wants to alert.
In 126 years, this is a great first. October 2022 is the hottest month ever recorded in Mont Aigoual since measurements began in 1896. Located at the top of the Cévennes, straddling the municipalities of Valleraugue (Gard) and Bassurels (Lozère), the Météo France du Mont Aigoual observatory is one of the few French centenary stations, which “allows for a nice set of data”details François Jobard, meteorologist of Météo France.
In October 2022, the average temperature of Mont Aigoual reached 10.6 degrees, “which is remarkable for a station perched at 1,567 meters above sea level”to remember Francois Jobard. This is the first time that temperatures have averaged over ten degrees.
Another alarming element, it does not stop in Aigoual from April 26, 2022, or 188 days. A series, still in progress, never equaled as the latest record was 176 days in 2019.
A warmth that is explained by “recurrent southwestern currents that bring warmth and mildness”but “which also fits into a context of global warming, which is becoming more and more visible”says the specialist.
In the period 1991-2020 the average temperature recorded at Mont Aigoual increased by four degrees, a “significant surplus” according to the specialist.
More generally, what challenges meteorologists, “it is because the very hot months have followed one after the other”. In fact, if September has been a lot less hot in Aigoual, the last six months “everyone finished on the podium of the hottest months”ensures Francois Jobard. Therefore, May and July were the hottest on record, while June and August are the second hottest. “We have phenomenal excesses of temperature”warns the specialist.
In twelve consecutive months, from November 2021 to October 2022, Mont Aigoual observed “an average temperature of eight degrees, a level never reached”. However, the annual average of the last century was 4.6 degrees.
For the specialist, this emblematic station and these results are also an answer climate skeptics : “you really have to imagine a resort on top of a mountain”whose measurements are not influenced by environmental factors, such as pollution.