“Sahara in the Pyrenees” … What we know about the early (and unprecedented) heat wave coming

After the heating dome in May, here is the “early heat wave” in mid-June. Unless you live in the South East, where it has already been very hot since this weekend, take a deep breath, the air will also be breathless this Tuesday in the South West with a first “warm pulse”.

Then the phenomenon in a “second salvo” will reach the Center and then the Nordics, and therefore Paris from Thursday, with two days expected to be hot on Friday and Saturday. Meteo Francedoes not yet use the term heat wave while waiting for night temperatures. Almost the entire southern half, even the center of France, will experience peaks of more than 35 ° C. The mercury can even rise to 40 ° C “inside the Languedoc”.

What’s to blame?

This heatwave has its source in “a depression that is at the height of the coast of Portugal, and which favors a rise of hot air from the Maghreb. It has been in transit through Spain for several days and will reach France in the southwest”, sums up Frédéric Long, forecasts for Météo-France. As a result, temperatures could rise this Tuesday “to 36 ° C in Bordeaux and 35 ° C in Toulouse Midi”.

Something “never seen” in the Pyrenees

“It’s incredible, I’ve never seen it so early in the year in the Pyrenees. Christophe Dedieu, chairman of the association of enlightened amateurs Météo Pyrénées, needs to pinch himself as he watches the satellite maps roll by. “An oven, that is to say,” he predicts. Pau believes, “that we will reach records in mid-June, especially in the free atmosphere, around 1,500 meters, as there will be peaks at 30 ° C. These are roughly the values ​​we find in the very center of the Sahara.” So for those who are still proud to see the still snow-capped peaks, enjoy it. “At 25 ° C at 2,000 meters, the snow cover will finish spinning,” assures Christophe Dedieu. complete the show.

At the Gavarnie station, located 1,400 meters above sea level, in the Hautes-Pyrénées, forecasters confirm a probable peak of 30 ° C on Tuesday.

Is it unusually so early in the year?

If the phenomenon has the expected national magnitude, “as it is likely”, then, yes, this heat wave will be the earliest ever recorded after a month of May, which has already been the warmest ever observed: “We have already had early heat waves in June , but only at the regional level, details Frédéric Long Around the middle of June 2003, just before the famous heat wave, there were heat waves in Alsace and Aquitaine.In June 2019 we also had a heat wave in the southern part of the country, but later , around June 25. On this national scale, therefore, it will be unprecedented.

In addition to the usual precautions for vulnerable people, this episode falls badly for agriculture, after a winter and a spring with little rain, and when 35 wards are already in drought preparedness. It is also a bad warning about the risk of forest fires.

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