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Heatwave could break records as Brittany stays cool

Heatwave “canicule” temperatures across France are continuing to rise and may break records tomorrow (Thursday June 26), as Brittany escapes the peak of the heat - to much amusement.

Forecaster Météo France has 65 departments on orange “canicule” alert; the second-most severe level. This accounts for much of the country, especially the central and eastern regions, except for a thin border of departments around the north, south, and west coasts.

Aix-en-Provence recorded a high of 37.2°C, while Strasbourg had 36°C, Lyon 35°C, Toulouse 34°C, Paris 33°C, and Lille 31°C. Even mountain region Chamonix recorded 36.4°C, while Val-d’Isère had 28.3°C at an altitude of 1,800m.

Many schools have closed and road restrictions have been in place in many French towns and cities.

The high temperatures expected to last until Friday (June 28), and peak today and tomorrow (Wednesday June 26 and Thursday June 27).

Thursday temperatures are expected to reach 40°C in the Limousin, Périgord, the Massif Central, Rhône, and the Provence borders; while 35-38°C is forecast for the south and the Loire.

A map compiled by news network FranceInfo showed the temperature records "to beat" for many parts of the country and wrote that the current canicule was “at risk of reaching unheard of heat levels”.

A statement from Météo France said: “[This is] a heatwave episode of exceptional intensity for the end of the month of June.”


“Brittany border closed”

Yet, temperatures in Brittany have been noticeably colder than in the rest of France, prompting residents to joke that suddenly, the weather of the western region has become an object of jealousy, rather than the usual pity and mockery.

One article in Le Monde newspaper even joked that Brittany’s resistance to the heat was a sign of “Breton independence”.

A parody news website wrote: “Brittany has closed its border to the arrival of climate refugees”, while another joked: “The first death of the heatwave: A man migrated to Brittany to escape the Paris heat, and died from pneumonia in Quimper.”

Breton residents shared photos of their own distinctly non-heatwave weather

Tourism to Brittany has been on the rise over the past few years, notably from residents of the south of France seeking cooler temperatures as summer heatwaves become more common. According to the Brittany regional tourism committee, the region’s tourism is 83% French, and 17% from abroad.

Temperatures across the rest of the country are expected to drop by the end of the week, but Brittany is still expected to see the mercury hit 30°C by Friday (June 28).

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