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France Had Hot and Dry August as Heat Wave Drove Up Temperatures

France had a hot and dry August as a heat wave in the second half of the month drove up temperatures in most of the country, the Agriculture Ministry reported.

The average temperature in France last month was 22.2 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit), 1.7 degrees above normal, the ministry wrote in a report on its website today. Rainfall of 40 millimeters (1.6 inches) was 18 percent less than the usual amount.

The southwest of France, including the Aquitaine region that grows 20 percent of the country’s corn, got 26 millimeters of rain in August, 58 percent less than usual. Temperatures in the region of 22.8 degrees Celsius were 2.3 degrees higher than normal. France is the European Union’s biggest corn producer.

“Between Aug. 15 and Aug. 21, the country had a heat wave that pushed up average daily temperatures to 27 or 28 degrees for a large part of the country,” the ministry wrote. “The rains in August are largely insufficient.”

The month was one of the driest August months since 1959, the ministry wrote, citing weather office Meteo France.

Precipitation in the southwest since the start of March has been 8 percent less than normal, while the deficit is 5 percent in the southeast, the report showed. Rain in the six-month period was higher than usual in all other regions, with the country on average receiving 8 percent more rain that normal since March 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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