France in for another scorching week as temperatures soar

It's good news for sun worshippers in France this week, with forecasters predicting glorious sunshine across most of the country and high temperatures that could rise to a steamy 37C in some areas.

France in for another scorching week as temperatures soar
Illustration photo: People cool off in the water fountain (Miroir d'eau) in Bordeaux, AFP
It's been a good start to the summer in France and Monday marks the beginning of a period of even hotter, sunnier weather across the country, according to national weather agency Meteo France.
Weather forecasters have predicted that temperatures will rise steadily throughout the week ahead. 
“Temperatures will increase by one to two degrees every day from Monday,” said French weather service Météo Consult.
This is expected to lead to a heat peak from Wednesday, lasting until Friday, with parts of the south set to experience temperatures of up to a sizzling 37C, said the service.  
Weather map for Wednesday 2 pm – 8 pm, Meteo France 
On Monday, temperatures across most of the north of the country are set to hit 30C, with Paris expected to see the mercury rise to 31C. 
Meanwhile, temperatures in the southern cities of Nimes and Marseille are set to reach a scorching 34C and the norhtern city of Lille will see the mercury rise to 30C. 
On Tuesday temperatures are expected to rise across France, with most of the country also expecting sunshine. 
The mercury is set to reach an average of 30C in northern and southern parts of France. 

On Wednesday, the heat is set to intensify across the country with average temperatures reaching 32C in the north and 33C in the south. 
This level of heat will continue into Thursday while the mercury will take a small leap once again on Friday, with temperatures expected to reach an average of 34C in the southern areas of the country. 
Across the majority of the country, these temperatures will go hand in hand with glorious sunshine although there is a risk of showers hitting mountainous regions. 
Some forecasters have suggested that after several days of hot, sunny weather, France could be in store for summer storms on Saturday and Sunday. 
But if you're one of those working during the heat, don't despair just yet because this hasn't yet been confirmed. 
Weather forecast: What's on the horizon for France this summer?
Photo: AFP

How serious will the heat wave get?
While the mercury is expected to reach very high temperatures in the south, it is uncertain whether the heat will reach the extremes necessary to be considered an official heatwave (“canicule” in French) which is defined as three days of consistently very high temperatures throughout the day and night. 
The temperatures constituting a heatwave vary according to region. 
During this week's spell of hot weather, it will be the central-east and the lower Rhone Valley that is at the highest risk of experiencing an official heatwave while it is expected that in other areas, temperatures will only briefly reach these extremes, according to Meteo Consult. 

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South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.