France’s latest heatwave has come to an end and is being followed by rain and storms in some areas.
There are 38 departments – mainly in northern France – under yellow alerts for storms or flooding today (August 15). Residents in affected areas do not need to take any specific action but should be aware of the situation as it evolves.
You can find out more about this on the Météo France website.
In the northern half of France, temperatures will reach 26C today, while in the south – which should not generally be affected by the storms – it will get to around 32C.
These temperatures, along with the storms, are set to last for at least the next few days.
Rain returns to parched regions
Yesterday (August 14), temperatures fell by around 10 degrees in France and it began to rain for the first time in weeks in some areas.
At the Larmor-plage market in Morbihan (Brittany), one shopper said that “I really like” the rain, “it doesn’t bother me.”
“It will be good for my garden, my plants and vegetables,” another commented.
“With the water restrictions, we cannot irrigate [our crops],” a market gardener said. “Vegetables do not grow, it’s difficult with winter vegetables. And with the high heat we cannot plant anything, because the [plants] will just be roasted on the spot.”
Government discussions on forest fire management
So far this year, some 50,000 hectares of land have been destroyed by wildfires in France, and 10,000 firefighters have had to be deployed to tackle the flames.
The government has been criticised for the perceived inadequacy of its preventative measures and reactions to the blazes. As a result President Emmanuel Macron has said that he will be meeting with ministers at the Elysée Palace to discuss a new wildfire management model.
Éric Brocardi, the spokesperson for France’s firefighters, has also called for greater preparation for flooding incidents, especially as decades of urbanisation have altered landscapes in a way which exposes populations to a greater risk.