Southern France on heatwave alert after temperature records broken

Wednesday could see the mercury hit 40C in Provence, Corsica and Occitanie

Temperatures could hit 40C in the south of France on Wednesday

Nine departments have been issued with the second-highest warning for heatwaves on Wednesday (July 19) as sweltering conditions continue in the south of France.

Temperatures could hit 40C locally in Provence, Corsica and Occitanie, said national forecaster Méteo France.

Var is expected to be worst hit by the heat.

It is on a tier-three orange weather warning, alongside Bouches-du-Rhône, Gard, Hérault, Alpes-Maritimes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Vaucluse, Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse.

The orange warning means “dangerous phenomena are predicted”. It advises locals to keep up to date with the evolving situation and follow official advice.

Four other departments are on a tier-two yellow warning for heatwaves on Wednesday.

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Weather channel La Chaine Méteo said several temperature records were broken in France on Tuesday (July 18), including 42.3C in Castirla, Haute-Corse; 41.4C in Puget-Théniers, Alpes-Maritimes; and 40.6C in Tiranges, Haute-Loire, which is situated at 600m above sea level.

Experts say the heatwave is down to a heat dome over the Mediterranean region that has seen record temperatures in countries neighbouring France. Rome recorded its highest temperature on Tuesday of 42.9C, while the mercury passed 45C in Catalonia for the first time.

“This Mediterranean heat dome also affects the Maghreb, where a remarkable heatwave occurs,” wrote

“On July 12, the thermometer reached 46.3C in the coastal city of Oran in Algeria, beating an absolute record!

“But this heatwave is not the only one in progress. Another heat dome is impacting the southwestern United States, where temperatures are also breaking records, such as in Kingman, Arizona with 46C on July 15!

“Finally, China is also undergoing a heat wave of historic intensity. With 52.2C in Sanbao on July 16, 2023, the entire country broke its absolute heat record!”

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