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HEATWAVE

HEATWAVE LATEST: Alerts extended across France with Paris set for record high temperature

Official heatwave alerts were issued for 59 départements across France on Monday, including Paris where record high temperatures are forecast this week. Members of the public have been warned to take precautions as temperatures rise.

HEATWAVE LATEST: Alerts extended across France with Paris set for record high temperature
AFP

Heatwave warnings were in place for more of the country on Monday afternoon as the mercury began to rise and the latest canicule (heatwave) took hold.

In all some 59 départements had Orange alerts in place – the second highest warning level – by Monday afternoon, including the whole of the south west, central France, the Paris region and the east of the country (see map below).

The country's weather service Météo France said that temperatures in the south west had risen by 10C since Sunday and the warm front had reached central and northern areas.

Temperatures will reach over 40C in many parts of the country over the coming days.

 

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new heatwave hitting France

 

 

Temperatures in the south west were forecast to edge up towards 40C on Monday but Wednesday and Thursday look like being the hottest days across the country.

On Monday Paris activated its heatwave plan which meant a closer eye is kept on vulnerable people, including the elderly and the homeless, while “cool rooms” such as public buildings are opened up to members of the public.

It is likely that the country's weather agency Météo France will issue more heatwave alerts for other parts of the country throughout the week.

“Thursday (July 25) will be a potentially historically hot day,” said François Jobard a forecaster from Météo France.”We are forecasting 41 or 42 degrees in Paris on Thursday and there is the strong chance of beating the record,” he added.

The highest ever temperature recorded in Paris was 40.4 degrees Celsius (104.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in 1947. Since records began in 1873, this was the only time a plus-40 temperature was recorded in the French capital, he said.

Other French cities could also see their all time records tumble on Thursday including Reims, Bourges, Lille and Clermont Ferrand, he said.

 

 

 

Map: Météo France

As ever the canicule (heatwave) warning issued by Météo France brings with it advice for members of the public.

People, especially the elderly and most vulnerable, are advised to spend as much of the day as possible in a cool place, avoid going outside when the day is at its hottest and drink water regularly.

Météo France also issues the following advice.

* In case of discomfort or behavioural problems, call a doctor.
* If you need help call your local town hall.
* If you have elderly, chronically ill or isolated people in your life, check in with them or visit them twice a day. Accompany them to a cool place.
* During the day close shutters, curtains and windows. Ventilate at night.
* Use fan and/or air conditioning if available. Otherwise try to go to a cool or air-conditioned place (such as a supermarket or cinema) for two to three hours a day.
* Wet your body several times a day with a mist, a washcloth or by taking showers or baths.
* Adults and children: drink plenty of water, the elderly: drink 1.5L of water per day and eat normally.
* Do not go out during the hottest hours (11am-9pm).
* If you have to go out wear a hat and light clothing.
* Limit your physical activities.
 
The symptoms of heat stroke are listed as: fever above 40C, hot, red, dry skin, headache, nausea, drowsiness, intense thirst, confusion, convulsions and loss of consciousness.
 
There is more health advice available on the Ministry of Health site at www.sante.gouv.fr.

 

 

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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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