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France: Heat and storm alerts remain as more hot weather due

Two departments in France are still on orange heatwave alert and 27 are on yellow storm alert today (Sunday August 2), with more hot weather up to 39°C forecast for the coming week from Wednesday onwards.

At the time of writing, Ardèche and Drome are on orange alert for heat, Météo France said, after two days of intense temperatures up to 41°C across much of the centre-east of France.

The peak of the heat was recorded on Friday July 31, the forecaster said, with temperatures slightly lower on Saturday. Short, sharp storms were forecast overnight, with rain and strong winds up to 130 kph, and even some hail.

Temperatures will continue to stay lower - at least, around 22-30°C - today, Monday and Tuesday (August 2, 3 and 4), due to cooler ocean air coming from the north west.

More heat and humidity next week

But the heat is expected to increase again on Wednesday (August 5) due to heat coming from north Africa.

This new “heat peak” is expected to last four to eight days, bringing enduring temperatures of 33-39°C.

In addition, as well as the high temperatures, humidity levels are expected to be high too, meaning that the weather may feel even hotter than it really is.

Pascal Scaviner, head of forecasting at forecaster Chaîne Météo, has explained: “If we take the average temperature of 36°C with dry air, meaning a level of humidity of 30%, your body will feel a temperature of 40°C.

“In contrast, if you take the same temperature with a much higher level of humidity, of 60%, your body will feel a temperature of 50°C, a real discomfort [which is] a danger to health.”

Fire risk

The heat alerts come after hot weather hit France at the end of this week, bringing further heatwave and storm alerts, along with warnings over the risk of forest fires.

It comes after a forest fire in Anglet - in the Basque region, close to the Spanish border - destroyed more than 165 hectares before being brought under control.

Related stories

Huge forest fires destroy 165 hectares in southwest France
Heatwave, storm and forest fire alert as France reaches 41C
Eastern France on heatwave alert as temperatures soar

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