Heatwave warnings extended across France as temperatures edge higher

France's weather agency has extended the heatwave alerts as temperatures continue to rise across the country.

Heatwave warnings extended across France as temperatures edge higher
Photo: AFP

Nine more departments were placed on orange alert — the second highest warning — by France's national weather agency Meteo France on Wednesday afternoon,

The departments concerned are in the north of the country, in the central-eastern areas and south east. 

The new alerts brought the toal number of departments with heatwave warnings in place to 18.  

The nine new departments on alert are Aisne, Ardèche, Côte-d'Or, Drôme, Marne, Pas-de-Calais, Rhône, Saône-et-Loire and Somme.

Nine departments in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France and the north have been on orange alert for heatwaves since Tuesday.
The departments affected were all those in the greater Paris region which are Paris, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise and Yvelines as well as the Nord department in the north of the country.
People in all areas on alert are advised to remain vigilant due to the risk of dangerous weather. 
Météo France had warned that temperatures would rise throughout the week, with a peak of 34C and 37C expected on Friday before the mercury briefly dips this weekend. 
As a result of the heatwave warnings the public are advised to spend at least three hours per day in a cool area (if you can find one) drink water regularly even when you are not thirsty and avoid going outside when the sun is at its hottest.
Here are some tips on how to beat the heat

Heatwave: Paris and northern France on alert as temperatures rise

Photo: AFP

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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.