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Heatwave breaks as France starts to cool off

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 21 Aug 2012, 10:40

Published: 21 Aug 2012 10:40 GMT+02:00

A large tranche of France has for the past week been on a level-2 orange alert on the 1-3 heatwave warning system which set up after 15,000 people died in a heatwave in 2003.
 
But with temperatures tumbling significantly in many areas, Météo France has lifted the alert in Ain, Allier, Côte-d'Or, Haute-Garonne, Isere, Loire, Lot, Nièvre, Puy-de-Dôme, the High Rhine, Rhone, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne and the Territoire-de-Belfort, according to a report in the Le Figaro daily.
 
Some 20 departments remained on alert on Tuesday however with Météo France reporting that the warnings are expected to be lifted by Wednesday morning at the latest.
 
Temperatures are however expected to hit between 33 and 39 degrees Celsius in some of the affected areas, with a hot night ahead.
 
The worst of the heat is expected to be pushed into the south-east during Wednesday and while some local temperatures are forecast to exceed the mid-30s, the situation will allow for the orange alerts to be lifted.
 
"The drop in temperatures is underway, but there is an inertia effect, the heat does not disappear straight away, it occurs slowly," Météo France meteorologist Jérôme Lecou, told the La Depeche du Midi daily. 
Story continues below…
 
The recent heatwave saw new seasonal highs set in several areas, including Burgundy, Jura and the Alps.
 
The temperatures passed the previous records set in the heat wave of 2003, the hottest on record since at least 1540, and which claimed the lives of almost 15,000 people.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (info@thelocal.fr)

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