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Record-breaking heat set to return to south of France from today

Forecasters say that temperatures in the south may hit 35-40C, following the higher than average temperatures seen last week

A thermometer reaching 40C under a sunny sky

Temperatures may reach in the mid-30s or even 40s this and next week in France, forecasters suggest Pic: Marian Weyo / Shutterstock

Hot weather is set to return to France over the next few days, with forecasters suggesting that temperatures in the south may even hit 40C.

Anthony Grillon, forecaster, posted on Twitter: “Some suggested modelling outputs from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts are beginning to look alarming, when it comes to the evolution of the air mass between now and June 5.”

He added that the heat could even reach 40C in the south, but said that the situation was still “uncertain”.

However, François Jobard, a forecaster at Météo France, told La Dépêche: “We will not necessarily [see 40C in the south]. That prediction seems a little premature and exaggerated. Speaking about the weather seven days out is quite difficult.”

But Mr Jobard did say that hot weather would return from today, May 27.

He said: “We are seeing higher temperatures than normal, and we are expecting very high heat, especially in the southeast.”

Areas in Var could even hit 35C, he said, adding: “Departments in the south will especially be in the line of fire.”

The hot weather will be caused by a mass of hot air arriving from the south. He said: “Météo France has been watching this phenomenon with increasing worry because everything coming up from the south is hot and burning at the moment.

“We are seeing anomalies of temperatures in the sea at 3-4C [hotter than normal] in some places, with values that we would normally only see in mid-June,” said Mr Jobard. “The hotter the Mediterranean sea, the less it offers a cooling effect.”

Forecasters have dubbed the effect even more worrying, especially in Occitanie, as the region has just seen an “exceptionally hot episode, marked in its early arrival”.

Last week saw several broken records for the month of May, in the southeast, centre-east, and southwest of the country, including 33.7C in Albi and 33.4C in Toulouse (Occitanie). 

France has seen the longest period on record of higher-than-average temperatures over the past few days, with 44 consecutive days on which temperatures were higher than the seasonal average.

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