France braces for new heatwave with mercury set to reach 40C (again)

Temperatures in France are set to rise once again from next week, with predictions that the mercury will hit 40C in certain parts of the country from Monday.

France braces for new heatwave with mercury set to reach 40C (again)
Photo: AFP/Meteo France
It's just a few weeks since France's last heatwave when record temperatures were reached – but it looks like the French are in for another hot week. 
The mercury is set to reach a scorching 40C during the day and 27C at night in parts of the country, with the south east expected to experience a particularly sweltering week. 
In the Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions, temperatures are not expected to fall below 25C-27C at night, according to France's national weather agency Météo France.
Weather forecast for Monday 2pm-8pm. Map: Météo France
On Tuesday, the mercury should hit around 35C across much of the country, except in the north west and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, where temperatures will be significantly cooler.
The peak could be reached Wednesday and Thursday, with 39C to 40C in the south east, and 35C in Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
A thunderstorm in the north west should cool things down a bit on Friday, however temperatures are expected to remain above 30C across much of the country.
But will the hot temperatures actually constitute an official heatwave?
The forecasts for next week, according to weather forecasters, are not yet definite.
So far the national weather agency has given them three or four out of five for reliability and forecasters will have a better idea of what to expect in the coming days. At the moment it is considered “an episode of strong heat to watch out for”.
“It is too early to say i we are heading for a heat wave,” Etienne Kapikian, forecaster at Météo France, told Le Parisien.
“The scenarios are fluctuating. It is not yet known with certainty whether the duration of the phenomenon or its precise location beyond the southern part of France.”
French weather forecasters define an official heatwave as three consecutive days of consistently very high temperatures throughout the day and night, with the levels varying depending on the region. 

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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.