The climate in France is generally favourable to cultivation. Most of France is located in the southern part of the temperate zone, although the subtropical zone includes its southern edge. The whole of France is under the influence of oceanic influences, tempered by the North Atlantic drift in the west and the Mediterranean in the south. The average annual temperature falls to the north, with Nice on the Côte d’Azure at 15 °C and Lille on the northern border at 10 °C.
Precipitation is mainly led by the westerly winds of the Atlantic and is characterised by cyclonic depressions. Annual precipitation exceeds 1 270 mm at higher altitudes in western and north-western France, the western Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Alps and the Jura. In winter, eastern France in particular can be affected by the continental high-pressure system, which creates extremely cold conditions and temperature inversions above cities, where cold air gets trapped under warmer air, resulting in fog and urban pollution.
France’s climate can therefore be divided into three major climate zones: the ocean, the mainland and the Mediterranean, with some variations in the Aquitaine basin and the mountains.