Heatwave in southern France set to intensify in coming days

Temperatures could reach around 40C on Tuesday

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France is bracing itself for the peak of the current heatwave.

The south – in particular the south-east – is expected to be worst affected.

Inland areas of the Var could reach up to 40C on Tuesday (July 18), when the heatwave reaches its zenith.

Currently, 23 departments in the south-east of France are facing weather warnings for heatwave conditions.

That includes Alpes-Maritimes - home to popular tourist destinations such as Nice - which has been facing tier-three (orange) warnings for heatwave conditions since last week.

‘Heat dome’ causing high temperatures

The current heatwave has been menacing Mediterranean countries since last week, with a number of areas reporting higher-than-average temperatures.

In Italy, 16 cities have been placed on red alert over temperatures, and numerous towns in Spain have seen the mercury jump above 40C.

In France, temperatures have been high – reaching 36.8C in Corsica – but the phenomenon has mostly been felt in the south-east of the county.

“A heat dome is forming over the southern and especially south-eastern parts of the country,” said Grégory Langlet, a forecasting engineer at Agate Météo.

“This means that the hot air is trapped in a high-pressure zone that forms a kind of high-temperature lid," he added.

This phenomenon has been the source of the hot weather seen since the middle of last week in the south of France – but it is only expected to get worse.

Read also: Tips on how to stay cool in France’s heatwave

Tuesday temperature peak?

Despite highs of 35C over the weekend, temperatures are set to rise further on Monday (July 17), before reaching their peak between Tuesday and Wednesday (July 19).

In Italy, Rome could see temperatures of 43C, considerably hotter than the high of 40.8C recorded last year, and the island of Sardinia is predicted to see temperatures of 48C.

Whilst not as intense in Italy, France is still bracing itself for temperatures of around 40C, especially inland in Corsica and the departments in the south-east. Pyrénées-Orientales could also see the mercury reach a similar level.

Although the south-east will see the brunt of the heat, temperatures in France will still be high throughout the week, even if no official warnings are in place.

Generally, areas south of Bordeaux and Dijon will see temperatures of up to 35c – although in certain departments it will be closer to 40c.

In Toulouse and Lyon, temperatures could reach 38c.

Aside from the tip of Brittany - and coastal areas of Normandy and Hauts-de-France - temperatures will be around 30C on Tuesday across the north of the country.

Despite these temperatures, summer records are not expected to be broken – except in Corsica, with meteorologists keeping a close eye on the situation.

As it stands, the following departments face tier-two yellow warnings on Tuesday:

  • Isère
  • Drôme
  • Ardèche
  • Hautes-Alpes
  • Gard
  • Savoie
  • Haute-Savoie
  • Loire
  • Haute-Loire
  • Rhône
  • Ain
  • Lozère
  • Hérault
  • Aveyron
  • Tarn
  • Bouches-du-Rhône

The departments facing a tier-three orange heatwave warning on Tuesday are:

  • Alpes-Maritimes
  • Corse-du-Sud
  • Haute-Corse
  • Var
  • Vaucluse
  • Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
  • Pyrénées-Orientales

Andorra is also facing a tier-three (orange) warning.

The above list may be updated throughout the day, as meteorologists get a better picture of how each area in France will be affected. You can keep up to date with the warnings here.

Cloudy weather on Wednesday will see temperatures across the country fall slightly - except in the south-east, where they could still be as high as 37C - but they could rise again by the end of the week.

On Thursday, temperatures of 40C could be seen again in Corsica and the south-east.

Read also

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