Heatwave: already first temperature records … and this is only the beginning

The heat wave announced this week is taking shape. The first heat records were already broken on Monday in the southern part of the country. And this is just the beginning, temperatures should continue to rise in the coming days with heat waves reaching almost the entire country over the weekend.

It is especially in Bouches-du-Rhône that the first records were set. It had never been so hot so early in the year, between 10 and 20 June, in Marseille Marignane. According to Meteo France, the bar of 36.2 ° C has been reached. This is a level 0.9 ° higher than the previous maximum value, reached on 17 June 2003 with 35.3 ° C.

In Cap Corse, in Haute-Corse, “with 37 ° C, a new monthly record was set for the month of June, ahead of 36.6 ° C on 30 June 2019”. Finally, the Cuers, in Bouches-du-Rhône, reached the highest level in 2022 in the metropolitan area of ​​France with a temperature of 37.2 ° C.

Sahara’s blowtorch

This threshold should be quickly exceeded. Temperatures will continue to rise in the coming days and reach burning heights day and night. On Friday and Saturday, the heat will increase from south to north with peaks fluctuating between 35 ° C and 40 ° C. These two maps from Météo France show the expected values ​​and their location for the days Thursday and Friday.

This will be the earliest heat wave ever recorded. The progress of this type of phenomenon in the calendar as well as its intensity is increased by climate change, according to a majority of climatological and meteorological experts.

The heat wave that is taking place this week, paradoxically, finds its origin in … the cold. A phenomenon called cold drop lies west of the Iberian Peninsula. It’s a small mass of cold air, a small depression, isolated in the middle of a mass of much warmer air. By rotating on its own, this mass of fresh air acts as a heat pump bringing hot air up from the Sahara. This upwelling is relatively narrow in width and lasts only a few days. Its brevity and its intensity give it the name “heat feather” or “blow of blowtorch of the Sahara”.

“Night temperatures are getting more and more swollen”

This Tuesday, while the thermometer will flirt with 35 ° C in the Occitanie region, thunderstorms are also expected in southwestern France. Météo France warns that the first will form “fairly early in the afternoon in the Pyrenees”. Locally, they cause “strong gusts of wind and hail”. Aquitaine, Occitanie and Languedoc will be affected in the evening. Limousine and Auvergne can be affected overnight. In addition, “locally stormy showers much more isolated also affect the border to the southern Alps”.

From Wednesday, the very strong heat spread to northern France. “The three days of Thursday, Friday and Saturday will probably be the warmest in the area. Night temperatures will become more and more suffocating with minimum temperatures often reaching or exceeding the 20 ° C threshold, ”warns Météo France. Saturday night and Sunday, widespread thunderstorms should put an end to this heat wave.

François Jobard, meteorologist at Météo France, predicts that due to the temperatures already reached in April and May as well as the heat wave this week, the April-May-June quarter will be one of the three warmest ever measured. Graph for support, it shows how the temperatures are higher and higher compared to the average. Compared to the period 1900-1990, the last thirty years have been marked by a very pronounced deviation from normal temperatures.

The temperatures of the week also help to form a breeding ground for fires. In Gard, a fire broke out on Monday at Grau-du-Roi, on a campsite. 185 acres and 60 bungalows went up in smoke. No injuries were reported.

Elsewhere in the department, several fire starts have been seen. The fires were started early in the evening.

Finally, this week is marked by a certain number of written exams for the matriculation exam. In order for the candidates not to have to compose under too difficult conditions, the exam centers are encouraged to be vigilant. No postponement is planned, as was the case for the 2019 patent for the same generation of students. For example, a principal in Argelès-sur-Mer (Pyrénées-Orientales) decided to store hundreds of bottles of water. He explains that he prefers rooms on the ground floor, facing north and ventilated between kl. 06.00 and the start of events, in the hours that are a little cooler. As a precaution, he ensured the school nurse’s presence during the tests …

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