A taste of 2050. The third heat wave of the year in France reached its peak on Friday with between 38 and 41°C in the country, a heat which exhausted the hundreds of French and now European firefighters engaged from east to west on multiple fires.
The sun will be scorching over the whole country on Friday, with 19 departments from the south-west to Finistère placed in heat wave orange vigilance by Météo-France.
The 40°C threshold had only been exceeded once in the 1960s and once in the 1970s in France.
It is bound to become more frequent.
The danger of heat waves for the body is that the nights remain hot and exhaust us.
Perpignan has already suffered 42 tropical nights (over 20°C) this year, compared to an average of 15 in the 1960s, according to Jean-Michel Soubeyroux of Météo-France.
The summer of 2022 in France is already approaching what “an average mid-century summer” would be in one of the pessimistic scenarios of global warming, he told AFP.
Even in an intermediate scenario, around 2050, the inhabitants of Lyon, for example, could experience 35 tropical nights per year, instead of 14.
Constant fight in Landiras
In the area of the worst French forest fire at the moment, near Landiras, in Gironde, it should still be 37°C on Friday, after 41°C on Thursday, where 1,100 firefighters are fighting day and night.
To support them, 361 European firefighters – German, Polish, Austrian or Romanian – as well as Italian, Greek and Swedish Canadair took to the south-west on Thursday.
Three times more hectares in France have burned than the annual average for the past ten years, and the year has been a record in the European Union since records began in 2006. Even the Jura, with its normally more moderate climate, has been hit : since Tuesday, two fires have devoured approximately 660 hectares of forest in the south of the department.
Late Thursday afternoon, the progression of one of the fires in the municipalities of Vescles and Cernona could be "slowed down" while the other, about twenty km to the south-west, was "fixed" , according to the prefecture.
Before nightfall, however, the fire still continued to progress in Isère in the town of Vif and in Ardèche near Vallon-Pont d'Arc.
In the Drôme, the fire was still not fixed in the Diois massif in Romeyer.
The long-awaited rain, by the firefighters as by the other inhabitants, will arrive by thunderstorms Friday evening on the Alps and the Pyrenees, but only from Saturday evening on the rest of France.