Paris 2024 Olympics For Members

How hot will it be in Paris during the Olympics?

Emma Pearson
Emma Pearson - [email protected]
How hot will it be in Paris during the Olympics?
Spectator stands under construction in the Place de la Concorde, an urban park venue for 3x3 basketball, BMX, skateboarding and breaking in the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Photo by Sami KARAALI / AFP

A recent report has warned of the dangers of extreme heat for athletes - but what should spectators expect if they are in Paris for the Olympics or Paralympics?


The report labelled Rings of Fire - a collaboration between non-profit Climate Central, academics at Britain's University of Portsmouth and 11 Olympians - warned that "intense heat at the Paris Olympics in July-August 2024 could lead to competitors collapsing and in worst case scenarios dying during the Games."

Closer examination, however, reveals that the warning is based on previous heatwave scenarios in Paris, rather than any specific predictions for this summer.

Still, Paris can get pretty hot - so what should Olympics visitors expect this summer?

Seasonal norms

Held between July 26th and August 11th (Olympics) and August 28th and September 8th (Paralympics), there's no doubt that the Games fall into the hottest part of the French summer.


Average temperatures in Paris for July and August are between 16C and 26C, falling slightly in September to 13C/22C. 

However, when the city is in the grip of a canicule (heatwave) temperatures can rise significantly - the highest temperature ever recorded in Paris was during a heatwave in July 2019 - it was 42.6C.

During a heatwave it's not uncommon for temperatures to be in the high 30s and to sometimes hit 40C.

Heatwaves usually don't last long - they are officially defined as days with hot temperatures which also see little fall in the temperature at night (the 'tropical night' effect) and it's rare to have more than five consecutive days like this.

One extra thing to take into account is the 'heat sink' effect - the effect that makes cities hotter than the surrounding areas. This happens to an extent in all cities as the cumulative heat exuded from people, vehicles and machinery (especially air-conditioning units) raises the temperature.

It is especially pronounced in Paris, however, due to the geography which traps the heat and the fact that Paris is a city with very little green space - during a heatwave the city can be up to 10C hotter than the surrounding countryside.

Forecast for summer 2024 

The especially annoying thing about heatwaves is that weather forecasters can only predict them about a week in advance, so at present we have no way of knowing whether the weather will be normally warm or insanely hot during the Games period.

French weather forecaster Météo France has predicted hotter-than-average temperatures over the whole of the summer, but cannot predict individual weeks this far in advance.

So far the year has been unusually rainy with cooler than normal temperatures, although the sunshine has returned this week. 

"The risk of a heatwave seems rather low", Cyril Bonnefoy of La Chaîne Météo, told French media. "Here, for the moment, we're still in a situation of 'cold drops', which also makes forecasting even more complicated."

The 'cold drops' are the result of very high-altitude cold air from Greenland or the Arctic plunging towards Europe - highly volatile and difficult to predict, they bring cool weather, rain and sometimes even thunderstorms, with little warning.

"This year has been tricky since spring," added Bonnefoy. "The weather situation is atypical, with a recurrence of rain very close together. And for several years now, we've been seeing greater variability in the climate.


So how should Games visitors prepare?

If you're attending events within the city, be aware that not all the stands have shade so you should prepare for your event by using a high-factor sunscreen (factor 50 preferably) and take a hat that provides shade for your face and the back of your neck. Stay hydrated.

Loose-fitting, roomy clothing made from natural fibres (eg cotton or linen) will be the most comfortable.

Other than that - keep an eye on weather forecasts and warnings.

If a heatwave is predicted, weather warnings (ranging from yellow 'be prepared' to red 'possible danger to life') will be issued, along with advice on keeping yourself safe.

The city will also activate its heatwave plan if temperatures soar - this includes setting up brumisateurs (machines providing cooled water vapour) and showing a map of 'cool rooms' within the city. There are also provisions in place for elderly or ill people who are more vulnerable to high temperatures.

Even outside a heatwave period Paris has a network of drinking water fountains to enable you to stay hydrated.

Take the warnings seriously - every year people die due to heatwaves

READ ALSO The French government advice for staying cool in a heatwave



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also