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Temperatures reach 40C in France but set to get even hotter

The peak of the heatwave will come on Saturday. Toulouse and other parts of the south west are already at record temperatures

Temperatures could reach up to 42C by this Saturday in parts of France Pic: Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock

Météo-France is now predicting temperatures of 42C along the west coast by this Saturday (June 18), when the peak of the heatwave is expected to be reached.

The weather service revised its predictions upwards after initially saying temperatures would peak at around 40C. 

Temperatures in some parts of the south-west of France, notably in Toulouse and other parts of Occitanie, have already reached 40C today (June 16). But Météo-France predicts Friday and Saturday will be hotter still and that some parts of the country will experience record highs for June. 

By Saturday afternoon, temperatures are expected to be at least 33C in all parts of the country (not including Corsica). 

Twenty-three French departments are currently on ‘orange’ alert for heatwaves.

They are mostly located in the south-west and along the west coast, stretching up to Pays de la Loire. There are also two departments from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Ardèche and Drôme on orange alert. 

Read more: South-west France sizzles: 23 departments on ‘orange’ heatwave alert

More departments could be added to the orange alert level at 16:00 today when Météo-France revises its assessments. 

You can read about how the alert levels are calculated in our article here: France’s ‘heatwave plan’ and how it may affect residents

Météo-France describes this current heatwave as “remarkable” for how early in the year it is, saying that it could become the earliest heatwave in France measured on a national level since recordings began in 1947.

The previous earliest heatwave was between June 18 and 22, 2017. 

Temperatures are not expected to fall until Sunday (June 19) after a storm that will begin over the Atlantic coast. 

It means temperatures should be lower from next Monday (June 20), although it could still be over 30C in parts of the south-west. 

How to keep cool during a heatwave? 

France’s national health agency, Santé publique France, offers the following advice to people to help manage heatwaves. 

  • Stay out of the sun
  • Drink water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat sufficient amounts of food to maintain energy levels
  • Close windows and shutters during the day, aerate rooms during the night
  • Spray yourself with water to keep cool
  • Keep in touch with friends and family, especially those who are vulnerable
  • Consider doing low-energy activities

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