A total of 37 departments across France are now on orange alert for hot weather, with the southwest and western regions most affected, as forecasts predict 40C in the hottest areas.
In its most recent bulletin, Météo France said: “On Sunday, temperatures will continue to rise, particularly in the southwest where values close to 40C will widely be reached.”
The peak of the current heatwave is expected for Monday (July 18).
Météo France continued: “40C will widely be approached, reached, or exceeded. Records will certainly be broken. At the same time, the heat will spread to the eastern side of the country.”
While temperatures are expected to begin dropping on the western side on Tuesday, it said that “the high temperatures will persist over the eastern half of France".
The current heatwave is affecting much of Western Europe, including Spain, Portugal, and the UK. The UK Met Office has issued its first-ever ‘red alert for extreme heat’, with temperatures set to exceed 40C in England for the first time since records began.
The last heatwave in France in the month of July dates back to 2019, when temperatures broke records.
France had its hottest day since measurements began with 29.4C on July 25 that year, as well as its hottest night, with an average of 21.4C, on the night of July 24 to 25.
It comes as a French forecaster has said it is ‘frightening’ that her 2050 predictions, made eight years ago, are coming true now, almost three decades earlier.
Affolantes prévisions de Météo-France pour lundi ! Entre 40 et 42° voire plus, dans les régions de l'ouest. Avec un vent de terre prévu sur certaines de ces régions grande prudence, les risques d'incendies restent et resteront très élevés. Pensées et estime pour nos pompiers. pic.twitter.com/3XkRF8Sdok— Evelyne Dhéliat (@EvelyneDheliat) July 15, 2022
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