Eastern France on heat wave alert as temperatures soar

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The weather forecaster Météo France warned of a “very intense heat peak” in much of France, and issued the orange heat wave warning to the departments of Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Rhône, Savoie and Haute-Savoie.

Today, temperatures are expected to reach 34-38 ° C in the afternoon and up to 39 ° C in some areas. On Friday, the mercury is expected to rise to 40 ° C.

This will be “a level close to the records reached in July 2019,” said Météo France.

Temperatures are expected to stay high even at night, with ” [Friday] the night is going to be hot, perhaps even more than the day before ”, and“ in the Rhône valley, we expect 22-24 ° C at night ”, warns the forecaster.

He said the heat would stay on Saturday and the following night, “before a recharge time starts Sunday.” Temperatures are expected to drop 5 ° C this weekend.

This means that for most countries the “ heat wave“(Heatwave) is more likely to be described as”peak heat“(Heat peak), because a heat wave is only technically declared when the heat lasts three consecutive days, including staying above 20 ° C even at night.

The hot weather in France is often due to the hot air being pushed northwards from the Sahara Desert, passing first through Spain.

Jean-Yves Choplin, forecaster at Météo France told the press service FranceInfo: “This time, the hot air comes from Spain, and crosses the Pyrenees before stagnating in an ‘anti-cyclone’. This is why it is particularly hot in the Rhône valley. ”

Mr Choplin added that the persistent heat waves are most likely due to global warming.

He said: “If it was an isolated phenomenon, we could speak of a seasonal weather ‘accident’, as it always has been. But when phenomena like this continue – and we’ve seen six months above seasonal averages since the start of the year – the link to global warming is undeniable. ”

July 2020 was a degree warmer than average, but summer has yet to reach the peaks of the heatwaves of 2014, 2018 or 2019. Temperatures last year were the third warmest on record recorded, with a peak of 46 ° C.

Heat in the time of Covid

The government has reminded people to be safe in hot weather – including staying hydrated, avoiding too much alcohol, monitoring friends and relatives – and also to continue to remain alert to health and safety measures against Covid-19, including respecting barrier gestures and continuing to wash hands regularly.

Public health body Public Health France to warn you that Although the heat can work against viruses, studies so far show that it won’t be enough to keep the coronavirus under control this summer unless people continue to be careful.

He has issued additional advice on how to avoid the spread of the virus during hot periods.

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