Summer is back: Temperatures to climb sharply in the south of France

Forecasters are predicting the mercury could hit 40C on Wednesday

Temperatures are expected to rise sharply in southern France this week, especially in the south west
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After a week of fresher temperatures and rainfall, summer is back in full swing in parts of France, with temperatures set to reach up to 40C in the south-west.

While the northern part of the country should see seasonal norms continue, the south will be affected by a warm wind blowing in from the Iberian region, with midweek temperatures around 5C higher than average near the Mediterranean and Pyrénées.

The high temperatures are set to last until Thursday (August 10), at which point France could face yet another round of summer thunderstorms, Météo France has predicted.

The warmer weather will spark further fears over the risks of wildfires.

On Sunday (August 6), a wildfire in the Bouches-du-Rhône – currently facing a tier-four red alert for forest fires – saw a blaze in Rognac, near Marseille. It needed 200 firefighters to extinguish the blaze.

Temperatures to soar midweek

Although temperatures are set to begin rising from Tuesday (August 8), the peak of the warm weather will come midweek.

The juxtaposition of cold air from last week and incoming warm air from an anticyclone in the Azores could see temperatures in the south rise between 15C and 20C, compared with this past weekend.

The south-west close to the Pyrénées and Toulouse will be most affected by temperature increases, although the Mediterranean coastline (as far east as the department of Var) will also see sharp rises.

Weather channel La Chaîne Météo predicts temperatures of around 36C in much of the south-west.

Estimates of maximum highs differ, however, with television channel TF1 predicting the mercury could reach up to 40C on Wednesday (August 9) in the Pays-Basque area (around the Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées departments).

Elsewhere, Météo France predicts temperatures could hit 38C in the Rhône Valley around Avignon and Orange on Thursday and 37C near Albi and Carcassonne on Wednesday.

After Thursday, the warm wind will have passed eastwards, and temperatures will return to summer averages – predictions for weekend temperatures next weekend (August 12 and 13) in the south-west range between 26C and 30C.

In Paris, seasonal averages of around 27C are expected but could reach up to 30C further north around Hauts-de-France.

As of Monday (August 7), Météo France has not issued any heatwave warnings in the regions, but this may change later in the week, as a clearer picture of possible highs emerge.

Read more: Map: What is the highest temperature recorded in your part of France?

Forest fire warnings continue

Météo France's forest fire forecast has given elevated warnings to a number of France’s Mediterranean departments in recent days.

Today (August 7) sees Bouches-du-Rhône facing a tier-four red alert warning for forest fires – the highest level possible.

A fire in the department on Sunday afternoon, near Rognac, required the use of some of France’s water helicopters and planes to tackle the blaze, as well as over 200 firefighters.

France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin thanked the fire services in a tweet after the incident: “Thank you to all those who have mobilised to preserve the safety of people, property and the environment,” he tweeted on Sunday evening.

Looking ahead to Tuesday, the forest fire forecast sees five departments on a tier-three orange warning for fires.

Hérault, Var, Vaucluse and Gard all join Bouches-du-Rhône at the second-highest warning level, with the latter seeing its danger level drop by a tier.

Another sixteen departments in the south are also facing tier-two yellow warnings for a heightened risk of forest fires.

Credit: Météo France

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