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WEATHER

Paris records its hottest EVER temperature as heatwave peaks

The city of Paris has recorded its highest temperature ever as the mercury reached 42.6C and it could get even hotter before the end of the day.

Paris records its hottest EVER temperature as heatwave peaks

Méréo France recorded a temperature of 42.6C at 4.32pm in Parc Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement, breaking the previous record of 40.4C which was set back in 1947. 

That meant Paris has recorded a highest ever temperature above those held by southern European capitals like Rome, Madrid and Lisbon (see tweet below).

 

READ ALSO Travel and health warnings issued as northern France braced for hottest day ever

Météo France has predicted that records will tumble across the country today, with Troyes, Rouen Lille and Dunkerque all recording records so far and more expected to follow.

 

But it is unlikely that France's all time record – set at the end of last month – will fall.

That record was 46C and was set in the southern département of Herault.

Paris is one of a number of départements placed on red alert for the extreme heart, with the public warned to take precautions to avoid health risks.

READ ALSO

The government is urging people to use extreme caution – stop excessive physical activity, drink plenty of water and if possible not go out during the hottest part of the day.

The city of Paris activated its emergency heat plan earlier in the week with cool rooms, water fountains and keeping parks open overnight.

A group of children at a holiday camp just outside Paris have been hospitalised with heatstroke.

The children were at a camp for the children of SNCF employees at  La Garenne-Colombe when they fell ill on Wednesday night.

Six children were taken to hospital while another 13 were treated at the site by emergency crews, before being taken to an air conditioned location.

Captain Lointier of the Paris Pompiers said: ” The children all had a medical examination first to check their vital functions.

“That is, we listen to the heart and breathing and check their vital signs. Then we tried to cool them down. To do this, were are sprayed with water for 5 to 10 minutes, making sure that the water is not too cold to avoid any thermal shock.”

 

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CLIMATE CRISIS

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.

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