Météo France has placed 14 departments on a tier-three orange warning for heatwave conditions – a first in the month of September.
The warning level has never been reached so late in the year before, but after five days of extreme heat in the north and centre of France, the warnings were raised yesterday to come into place from this morning.
Temperatures could reach up to 36C in Île-de-France today (September 8), where residents have been complaining of ‘tropical nights’ – the mercury not dropping below 25 degrees some nights.
Météo France said one reason for the rising warning levels was that nighttime temperatures could “rise” further over the coming days in the areas affected, with daytime temperatures keeping at current levels.
Originally predicting an end of the heatwave on Sunday, forecasters now believe temperatures could remain high throughout the weekend, with relief only coming at the beginning of next week.
Heat felt across France as warning levels rise
Météo France’s daily bulletin for Friday claims that aside from pockets of the Breton coast, almost the entire country will reach temperatures of at least 30C.
Below is a map of Météo France's warnings for Friday. You can also keep up with the warnings via their official website.
Temperatures in the Centre-Val-de-Loire region and in the northern Auvergne area could reach up to 37C, with the rest of France seeing highs of around 34C.
Along the Mediterranean coast, temperatures are expected to be around 30C.
Heatwave warnings are based on departmental specifics, so even if it is warm in other parts of France, if they are not extraordinarily high for the season, heatwave warnings are unlikely to be called.
Heatwave warnings also take into account evening temperatures – which are much higher than average in the north at the moment.
You can read what a tier-three orange warning means for the affected regions in our article below.
More records broken, high temperatures remain
Thursday (September 7) again saw a number of September heat records broken across the centre of France.
Notable records broken included in the towns of Blois (35.5C), Amboise (35C), and Chateaudun (35.1C).
Further temperature records could be broken across the weekend, as temperatures remain high.
The rain expected to fall on Saturday across much of the west of France is now limited only to small pockets of Brittany, with clear skies predicted for much of the weekend.
Météo France is now predicting that temperatures will only drop across most of the country on Tuesday (September 12), when rain is predicted to sweep in from the west.
Reminders to keep in good health
With warnings reaching the next level, various organisations have issued reminders to keep cool and hydrated during the heatwave.
As a reminder, if you are concerned about an elderly or vulnerable person, you can sign them up to your mairie’s registre canicule.
The mairie will reach out to people on the register during heatwaves, to make sure they are okay and to remind them of tips to cool down.
You can contact your mairie and ask them to add people to the list, alternatively in some communes you may be able to do via its website.
For the general public, other advice includes drinking water often, keeping away from physical exercise, and keeping homes cool during the day by closing shutters and pulling curtains closed.