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Brittany and eastern France braced as yet more violent storms roll in

More storms are set to batter France on Monday, with the northwestern region of Brittany expected to be among the worst hit. Eastern France has also been placed on alert.

Brittany and eastern France braced as yet more violent storms roll in
Flooding in the town of Morlaix. Photo: @_Merlin_Pinpin/Twitter
Seven departments in north west France were placed on orange alert — the second highest warning — for storms and flooding on Monday at 6 am by national weather agency Meteo France
The Côtes-d’Armor, Ille-et-Vilaine, Morbihan departments in Brittany were on alert for violent storms, as were Mayenne and Sarthe in the Pays-de-la-Loire and Orne in Normandy.
Later on Monday morning seven departments in central and eastern France were also placed on Orange alert for storms (see map below).
The new departments on alert are: Aube, Doubs, Eure-et-Loir, Haute-Marne, Haut-Rhin, Haute-Saône, Vosges and Territoire-de-Belfort. 
Members of the public in the affected areas are advised to take shelter in storms and avoid using any electrical equipment.
Meanwhile the floods alert in the Finistère department in Brittany was lifted late on Monday morning.
Finistère was already badly hit by storms on Sunday, with the downtown area of ​​Morlaix flooded after heavy rains (see below). 
People in these areas should are advised to remain vigilant to the risk of dangerous weather. 
The alerts are expected to remain in place until 6 am on Tuesday, with the thunderstorms due to strike just before the afternoon and last into the evening.
“The rain will intensify in central Brittany, with the storms hitting before midday,” said Meteo France, adding that there will be intense rainfall in short bursts.
In addition to the intense rainfall, the most violent thunderstorms may then be accompanied by hail and sudden gusts of wind of up to 80km/h.
Weather on Monday 2 pm – 5 pm. Photo: AFP
The national weather agency added that the rainfall could reach 50 – 60mm which is the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain.

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Scorching summer was France’s second hottest on record

Three heatwaves since June produced France's second-hottest summer since records began in 1900, the Météo France weather service said on Tuesday, warning that scorching temperatures will be increasingly common as the climate crisis intensifies.

Scorching summer was France's second hottest on record

With 33 days of extreme heat overall, average temperatures for June, July and August were 2.3C above normal for the period of 1991-2020.

It was surpassed only by the 2003 heatwave that caught much of France unprepared for prolonged scorching conditions, leading to nearly 15,000 heat-related deaths, mainly among the elderly.

Data is not yet available for heat-related deaths this summer, but it is likely to be significantly lower than 15,000 thanks to preventative measures taken by local and national authorities. 

Most experts attribute the rising temperatures to the climate crisis, with Météo France noting that over the past eight summers in France, six have been among the 10-hottest ever.

By 2050, “we expect that around half of summer seasons will be at comparable temperatures, if not higher,” even if greenhouse gas emissions are contained, the agency’s research director Samuel Morin said at a press conference.

The heat helped drive a series of wildfires across France this summer, in particular a huge blaze in the southwest that burned for more than a month and blackened 20,000 hectares. 

Unusually, wildfires also broke out even in the normally cooler north of the country, and in total an area five times the size of Paris burned over the summer. 

Adding to the misery was a record drought that required widespread limits on water use, with July the driest month since 1961 – many areas still have water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?

Forecasters have also warned that autumn storms around the Mediterranean – a regular event as air temperatures cool – will be unusually intense this year because of the very high summer temperatures. A storm that hit the island of Corsica in mid August claimed six lives. 

“The summer we’ve just been through is a powerful call to order,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday, laying out her priorities for an “ecological planning” programme to guide France’s efforts against climate change.