“Desert temperatures” before a scorching night

We had never experienced that in Ouessant. In Morlaix, Saint-Brieuc, Rennes or Bléruais either. On Monday we recorded more than 30 degrees on the tip of the island of Breton, and more than 40 degrees for the first time in Finistère and in the prefecture of Côtes-d’Armor. Rennes and Nantes also erased their historic heat record by more than 41 degrees recorded on Monday afternoon. It was in Bléruais, a small rural town west of Rennes, that the maximum was recorded with 41.6 degrees recorded at.

Such a hot day had never happened in the modern history of the region and will probably mark the sweating bodies as well as the spirits. But to listen to meteorologists, these extreme heat scenarios will become more and more frequent. And no doubt more and more intense.

Warm air brought by a southeasterly wind

Steven Tual is a fortune teller at Météo Bretagne. This Monday, he spent much of his day staring at the readings from the Breton stations, almost all of which panicked. “The heat has accumulated and intensified over the days. We see in Brittany temperatures that are usually recorded in the desert. In general, the region is rather spared from its island side. But there we see the clear evidence of global warming, ”says the forecaster. This phenomenon of extreme heat does not surprise him, but it questions him. “We knew it would happen, but with such intensity, it’s shocking. It challenges us to wonder what our climate will look like in fifty years,” says Steven Tual.

This heat wave, which has hit France for several days, took a dramatic turn on Monday in a region often mocked for its rotten weather. “Almost all stations broke their record with temperatures above 39 degrees everywhere,” adds Daniel Vendramini. The head of the forecasting service Météo-France Ouest believes that it was the wind direction that turned a hot day into a real furnace. “We have a southeasterly wind coming from land and bringing very hot air from the south”. The problem is that a “cold drop” phenomenon is raging off Portugal and keeping very high temperatures on the Atlantic coast.

Is the worst over? Not even. According to the forecaster, the night from Monday to Tuesday will be “very trying”. “We might remember it more than the day’s 40 degrees, as the night will be abnormal.” At midnight it should still be 33 degrees in Rennes! To breathe a little, we have to wait until Tuesday morning for the change in wind direction, which blows from the west and brings some air. A return to “normal”, but which will remain very hot throughout the region. A situation that does not surprise the forecaster. “The situation we are experiencing corresponds to our projections. We are exposed to longer heat phenomena. What we today consider to be abnormal will become more and more frequent, ”assures that part of Météo-France.

“Attention is too late”

This day in hell may raise awareness as IPCC reports call for urgent climate action to curb global warming. “You see what we have with a warming of +1.1 degrees. Imagine what it will be like with a difference of 2.7 degrees, ”says Steven Tual. The Météo Bretagne forecaster is worried, but above all angry. “I’m annoyed because the IPCC has been warning us for years, but the awareness is way too late. I want us to trust science, listen to climate specialists.”

Another disturbing phenomenon awaits in the region. Although temperatures will drop from Tuesday, Brittany should not be watered by the rain as it likes so much. A situation that worries both farmers who see their fields dry out and firefighters who have to fight more and more fires. On Monday, a major fire broke out in Monts d’Arrée.

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