France on heatwave alert
National forecaster Météo France places 45 departments on orange alert for heat as temperatures soar
France is set to bake under a heatwave that will last between six and eight days, weather forecasters have warned.
After a few days' respite following the last hot period, temperatures started to pick up again across the country on Thursday. National forecaster Météo France said temperatures would climb 'from Thursday afternoon', reaching between 34C and 37C in the northern half of the country, and as high as 40C in some parts of the south.
The forecaster has placed 45 departments on orange alert for heat. Night-time temperatures are expected to remain above 20C in Paris and a part of southwestern France.
The heatwave will initially hit the southern Rhone valley, the south west, the Pays de La Loire region in the west and the Paris region, Météo France said.
Friday and Saturday could see temperatures reach 42C locally in Pays de la Loire, Nouvelle Aquitaine and Occitanie, approaching record highs in places. In the other departments on orange alert, the heat will also be marked, around 34C to 38C, locally 39°C, except on the coast.
Authorities in the capital have already activated a 'level three' heatwave plan, as temperatures rose, prompting a spike in pollution levels.
To curb pollution in the capital and its surroundings, authorities in Ile de France restricted vehicle circulation to only those with Crit'Air sticker classified as 0, 1 and 2 between 05h30 to 20h, according to a statement published on the Paris police chief's Twitter account said, to last as long as the current heatwave.
During the last heatwave, which coincides with the worst drought in France for decades, thousands of people had to be evacuated from their homes as wildfires swept across large areas of vegetation near Marseille.
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France