Heat Wave: The Refreshment Arrives Finally by the Northwest

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Heat wave: the refreshment arrives finally by the northwest

After six days of an exceptional heat wave for a month of June, a good part of France will find more breathable temperatures on Sunday.

After six days of an exceptional heat wave for a month of June, much of France found more breathable temperatures on Sunday with a clear refresh in the northwest where the orange vigilance was lifted.

“The refresh began well on the north and a large western half of the country,” said Meteo France Sunday morning, adding that the epic event is limited “now to a large part of the country.”

An orange alert is maintained in 32 departments, which are located in large third south-east of the country, from the Aude to the Bas-Rhin, including the Massif Central, the Riviera, the Alps or the Corsica.



In these departments, “the maximum temperatures will be higher than 35 degrees,” says Météo France. Mercury should be close to 39 degrees in Alsace , and rise to 38 and 40 degrees “average and low Rhone Valley.”

The thermometer should, however, reach a ceiling at 30 degrees in the Paris region Sunday afternoon, against about 35 degrees recorded the day before.

Saturday evening, 75 departments were still placed in orange vigilance. But, sign that a peak was crossed at the end of the week, Météo France had raised the red alert on Saturday morning in four southern departments (Bouches-du-Rhone, Gard, Hérault and Vaucluse).

On Monday, the drop in temperatures will continue through the north and west but it will be necessary to wait until Tuesday for the whole country to find “lower” temperatures. These “should stay above the seasonal norms on the southern half,” according to Météo-France.

If mercury falls, the ozone pollution that often accompanies heat waves persists. In Ile-de-France, Airparif plans for Sunday a new limit of ozone exceeded, irritating to the lungs.

The differentiated traffic , which prohibits the traffic to the oldest vehicles, was renewed in the capital for Sunday and is also maintained in Lyon and Marseille according to the websites of the town halls.

“Heat holidays”

The MEP Yannick Jadot (EELV) proposed, to moderate the pollution and the risks, “holidays heat wave” and free public transport, in an interview with the Journal of the Sunday .

For this weekend, which coincides with first departures on vacation, the Minister of Transport Élisabeth Borne has for its part encouraged those who can “shift their travel” by car and by train.

The heat wave from the Sahara, which has also stifled the rest of Europe, is unprecedented in its intensity and precocity. Mercury flew Friday, with an absolute record recorded in Gallargues-le-Montueux (Gard), 45.9 ° C around 16h. The previous record of 44.1 ° C, recorded in the same department, dated August 2003, when the heat wave had made 15,000 deaths.

Read also: Heat wave: the absolute record of heat reaches 45.9 ° C in the Gard

On Saturday, tourists took selfies in front of the city’s record sign. “It’s a historic place! “Said Gudrun Helder, a thirty-year-old who has been on vacation in the region from Germany, and admits that” in fact, it’s really scary “.

Scientists anticipate two to three times more heat waves by mid-century.

620 hectares burned

The extreme heat probably cost the life of an octogenarian and a 37-year-old worker Thursday in Alsace, Cernay (Haut-Rhin) .

Between Friday morning and Saturday noon, six people were hospitalized in hyperthermia in the Vaucluse. One of them died, and another had a “life-threatening prognosis”, according to the prefecture. In Ariège, an investigation was opened after the death of a 53-year-old man on Saturday during a cycling event.

“There is no massive influx to the emergency services, nor signal excess mortality,” said the Directorate General of Health (DGS) Saturday night. However, in a heat wave, the excess of mortality always comes after the event, and “the final balance will be available only at the end of July”. The DGS also warned against the risk of drowning, related to the desire to swim to cool off: there were at least eight cases in France Saturday, including five deaths.

Firefighters intervene after a wild fire in the Gard, Saint-Gilles on June 29, 2019.
Firefighters intervene after a wild fire in the Gard, Saint-Gilles on June 29, 2019. (© AFP / SYLVAIN THOMAS)

In addition to the damage to vineyards in the Gard and Hérault, the intense heat also favoured the start of fires: sixty fires burned 620 hectares and 11 houses in the Gard, making 20 light injuries including 19 among firefighters.

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