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HEATWAVE

Hottest ever temperature recorded in France revised up to… 46C

A village in southern France has been named as the record holder of the country's all-time hottest temperature reached in June's heatwave.

Hottest ever temperature recorded in France revised up to... 46C
AFP
A village in southern France in June recorded the country's first ever 46 degree temperature, the French state weather 
service said on Friday, revising up the country's all-time record reached in last month's heatwave.

Much of Europe sweltered through sizzling heat in late June, with temperatures in France in particular breaking all-time records.

At the peak of the heatwave on June 28, Meteo-France had said the record was 45.9 degrees Celsius (114.6 degrees Fahrenheit) registered in Gallargues-le-Montueux, a village in the southern department of Gard near Montpellier

But it announced on Friday that after a new analysis of the data, a record 46.0 degrees Celsius had been recorded in Verargues in the nearby Herault department on the same day (see map).

The announcement came as forecasters warned of a new blast of hot weather in France next week, although it is not expected to last long or challenge the records set in June.

READ ALSO: France braces for new heatwave with mercury set to reach 40C again

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WEATHER

Sweltering France posts traffic jam record

France saw a record level of traffic jams on Saturday, with cars stuck in gridlock on roasting roads spanning 820 kilometres during the country's heatwave.

Sweltering France posts traffic jam record
A picture taken on August 8, 2020 near the toll gate of Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines shows cars stuck in traffic jam on the A10 highway: Martin BUREAU / AFP

France's traffic authorities said the peak was reached just after noon, easily beating both last Saturday's record of 760 kilometres (470 miles) and the previous record of 762 kilometres set on August 3 of last year.

The country has been sweltering through a heatwave since Thursday, with temperatures pushing towards 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in several areas.

In the southwest, Brive-la-Gaillarde broke its record with 40.8C on Friday, as did Cognac with 39.8C, while Nantes in the west posted a new record of 39.6C.

No relief is expected until Wednesday, with the soaring temperatures compounding the pressure as the country's coronavirus outbreak worsens, the number of daily infections hitting 2,288 on Friday.

Authorities reminded sweltering citizens that masks must continue to be worn where they have been mandated, despite the heat.

Roland and Helene, retirees in suburban Paris, said they go out in the morning “to get some fresh air,” but then spend the rest of the day hiding in their apartment. “We fear the heat a lot,” Helene said.

French weather forecaster Météo France on Friday upgraded the orange weather warning to red for northern parts of the country as temperatures reached 37C. The red warning means a potential danger to life or health.

Placed on a red warning were Paris and the départements of Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-d'Oise, Val-de-Marne and Yvelines.

The départements of Eure and Seine-Maritime in Normandy were also put on red alert.

Last year was France's hottest on record, and the Meteo France weather agency has warned that global warming could double the number of heatwaves by 2050.

 

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