France Prepares for an Exceptional Heat Wave

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France prepares for an exceptional heat wave

With temperatures that could exceed 42 ° C in the week, the country is preparing to live an exceptional and early heat wave, close to that of 2003.

Rushes on fans, temporary fountains in cities, support for the most vulnerable … an unprecedented heat wave began in France, with temperatures that could exceed 42 ° C in the week.

This exceptional heat wave from the Maghreb and Spain revives the memory of the heat wave of August 2003, which caused excess mortality of 15,000 people, the vast majority of whom are elderly people.

The orange alert for heat wave was triggered for Paris and its neighbouring departments and Seine-et-Marne, according to Meteo France which expects other departments to pass at this level Monday.

Read also: Heat wave: the Seine-et-Marne, Paris and its small crown in orange vigilance

“This is a heat wave unprecedented in its precocity for a month of June, and since 1947,” said AFP Emmanuel Demael, forecaster at Meteo-France.

Records in sight

According to him, records of heat will be established for a month of June and even “locally all months combined”.

The hottest day will be “between Thursday and Friday … it will reach 40 ° C or exceed locally,” he said.

The heat wave “should extend to the weekend, at least over a large half of the southeast,” according to the forecaster.

The urban will suffer

Monday, the very high temperatures (between 35 ° C and 38 ° C) will prevail between the Loire and the valleys of the Massif Central, the Rhone valley and the Provençal hinterland, to win Tuesday the north-east, before spreading between Wednesday and Thursday over much of the west of the country.

Urban “heat islands”, Paris and Lyon will suffer particularly, marked by artificial soils, few trees and significant human activities.

The City of Paris has activated the orange alert warning level since Sunday and announced a series of preventive measures.

Emergency number

It is thus possible for seniors and sick people to register, by a phone call to 3975, the file “Chalex” so that they are “contacted by phone to take their news and remind them of the preventive measures against the heat, “according to a statement from the City.

In case of emergency, a volunteer doctor and a social worker will be mobilized.

The program also includes “refreshed rooms” in public facilities, temporary and mist fountains and a night opening, in addition to the distribution of water bottles to the homeless, or the installation of fans in nurseries and schools.


Public authorities and dermatologists have reminded the need to regularly drink water, to wet the body and protect the skin, especially in small (hat, glasses, long-sleeved t-shirt, anti-UV clothing).

To avoid: alcohol, physical effort, leaving a child alone in the car, swimming in the fresh water of a lake because of the risk of thermal shock and of course … do not put in full sun.

A “heat wave kit” is distributed to nurseries and schools reminiscent of the good reflexes.

The information platform “Canicule info service” will be available on 0800 06 66 66 (toll-free number) for recommendations on what to do.

In the workplace, Minister Muriel Pénicaud, quoted by RTL , recalled “the responsibility of employers” who must “adapt schedules and equipment.”

Heat wave more numerous

The announcement of the arrival of hot weather has caused a rush on equipment to cool the air, said several distributors to AFP.

“The first products that are the most requested are fans, air conditioners, coolers,” according to Fnac-Darty group, while Boulanger has seen sales growth of more than 400% (compared to usual) on “The air treatment category”.

Airparif, the Air Quality Monitoring Association, predicts a “medium” level of pollution on Monday. “We have a significant presence of ozone but we did not reach a peak,” the association told AFP.

This hot shot is to be linked to global warming.

In France, the rise in average temperatures has been 1.4 ° C since 1900.

According to the scenarios of Meteo France, “the warming could reach 2 ° C by 2071-2100” in the country, or 4 ° C for the most pessimistic. Heat waves could become two to three times more numerous by mid-century.

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