How to Survive the Storm of 2017
“I don’t feel like I’m getting any warmer,” said a man in his 40s who lives in a small rural community in northern France.
“The weather is just terrible.
The snow is melting in our backyards, it’s raining all over the place.
And it’s getting worse every day.”
The weatherman’s forecast has been a consistent theme since the start of the year, when the European Meteorological Organization (EMO) predicted the winter could be the wettest on record for Europe.
The average temperature on the continent in 2017 was just 1.8 degrees Celsius above average.
But for many in the northern regions, the record low was as low as 1.2 degrees Celsius.
This week, temperatures across Europe were expected to drop to the low-point of 0.7 degrees Celsius, while parts of Germany were expected on Friday to fall to a record low of -1.8C.
The latest forecasts indicate a further cold snap could hit the continent, with Europe’s capital Berlin expected to be hit hard.
For some people in the French countryside, the prospect of freezing temperatures and a potentially prolonged cold snap is frightening.
“I’m afraid that we will have to pack up and move,” said Jean-Paul Gueguen, a 70-year-old retiree.
“It’s a bit scary, I don’t want to leave my house.”
With temperatures forecast to dip below -2C, some are worried about the health of those still in their homes.
“We need to be very careful, especially the elderly,” said one elderly man, who asked not to be named.
Many of those in France have been living in their houses since the cold snap, and some have started making preparations for the weather.
French authorities have warned residents to leave their homes if temperatures drop below 0C, but some residents are refusing to go.
In addition to the threat of a further freezing weather, the French government is calling for a moratorium on the importation of all fossil fuels, and the government is warning of a “tidal wave of carbon pollution”.
In Germany, the situation has been much worse.
German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks has already been accused of lying about the conditions in her country.
She was in a meeting with the heads of major German energy companies when she admitted the weather had been unusually cold and said the government was taking measures to mitigate it.
German officials have been criticised for allowing companies to import fossil fuels that they said posed a danger to the environment, including coal.
But the German government is now saying that the import ban will not be lifted until the emissions of fossil fuels are reduced.
Germany is home to the largest oil reserves in Europe, and it has also become a global centre for renewable energy development, with more than 500,000 wind turbines on its coast.