Bad weather in Western Europe likely to continue into June

PARIS (AFP) - France's meteorological centre said on Friday that the winter-like weather that has gripped much of Western Europe was likely to continue into June.

With snow in the plains of Switzerland, record cold in the Netherlands and a distinct lack of sunshine in France and Germany, meteorologists say Western Europe is suffering from "exceptional" weather for this time of year.

According to Meteo France, the country's meteorological centre, Western Europe could experience a brief respite from the bad weather at the weekend, but there will be no marked improvement for the next 10 days at least.

"It's what we call a block in meteorology, with a large area of low pressure wedged over northern Europe, bringing wind from the north and northeast," said Mr Olivier Proust, a forecaster at Meteo France.

The temperature fell to 3.7 degCel in Paris on Friday morning, the lowest temperature recorded on that day since 1887. The Netherlands has also experienced similar bouts of cold.

Germans, meanwhile, are getting 50 per cent less sunshine than they would at this time of year.

Unseasonal rain has also pummelled several countries, disturbing events such as the Cannes Film Festival in France.