France to swelter in 40C temperatures as heat dome pushes north

France to swelter in 40C temperatures as heat dome pushes north
Photo: Clement Mahoudeau / AFP
Temperatures could rise above 40C in parts of south-east France forecasters have warned as a so-called ‘heat dome’ pushes north into France from the Mediterranean.

Temperatures reached between 35 to 38C in parts of south east France on Wednesday, and Thursday is predicted to be hotter still, according to Météo France.

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“Thursday will be the hottest day of the week, with [average temperatures between] 28C to 32C in the northern half of the country – 22C to 24C near the Channel – and 32C to 34C in the southern half, rising locally 36C to 38C in the lower Rhône Valley and Provence,” said Meteo France. 

The hot daytime conditions could end dramatically, as localised thunderstorms bubble up and some areas are on alert for storms.

This rise in temperatures this week is due to a heat dome in the Mediterranean. A high pressure system is gradually shifting between the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and North Africa, where heatwave alerts are already in place.

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On Friday, “hot and summery weather, with predominantly clear skies”, is expected, although clouds could develop in the south-west of the country. At the end of the week, “temperatures may drop by one or two degrees, but they will remain at the level of seasonal norms,” according to Météo France’s latest bulletin.

A sunny weekend, with possible thunderstorms at the end of the day, from the Auvergne to the Alps and the Jura, is forecast for much of France, with cloudier conditions in the north-west.

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