Science

France enters the ordeal of a new heat wave episode – Sciences et Avenir

France will enter the heaviest part of the third heatwave recorded since June, with temperatures that could reach 40°C in the southwest and a drought that is getting worse every day.

“Wednesday will be the hottest day on a national scale,” warns Météo-France, but the heat peak will still be present on Thursday, “shifting eastward.”

“Between Wednesday and Thursday, maximum temperatures will often be above or equal to 35°C, with peaks of 39 or 40°C in the southwest,” said Météo-France, which has placed 27 departments on an orange heatwave warning.

The night will also be hot, and “minimum temperatures above 20°C will begin to spread,” Olivier Caumont, head of weather forecasting at Météo-France, said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

This heatwave will be shorter than the previous one, predicts Météo-France, which has yet to say when it will end. The last one ended on July 25 and lasted 14 days, leaving just a few days to rest a bit.

“We are concerned about these close recurrences of heat waves” that are “preventing organizations from returning to normal operations,” Isabelle Bonmarine of Public Health France (SPF) explained during a press briefing.

“We expect increased mortality as soon as we move into heat waves (…) and in particular among those aged 75 years and over,” added his colleague Robin Lagarrigue, indicating that “the assessment will be carried out at the beginning of the training of the year”. , in September”.

– Soil drought –

As far as wildfires are concerned, a blaze engulfing “450 hectares” of maquis in the town of Santo Pietro di Tenda in Upper Corsa was “fixed” on Tuesday evening, without threatening homes, firefighters said in a statement.

Nioselle, a village in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, on the other hand, was preemptively evacuated on Tuesday after a fire that engulfed 210 hectares but never threatened homes, firefighters said.

Heat wave monitoring (AFP – )

And the TER and TGV trains were interrupted on Tuesday afternoon in the Landes due to a fire and should not resume in the evening, SNCF said. On the Bordeaux-Hendaye and Bordeaux-Dax-Tarbes lines, “three TGV trains bound for Paris from the south of Bordeaux were stopped at Dax station. They will return to the departure station,” the SNCF added.

This heat only exacerbates the dryness. July 2022 is “the second driest month of all months combined” in France since measurements began in 1958-1959, with a cumulative rainfall of 9.7 mm, i.e. France.

In Gérardmer (Vosges) the flow of springs is so low that the municipality will supply its public water network with water from the lake. As a result, from Wednesday the water will be declared undrinkable, a priori within 48 hours for bacteriological tests.

In addition, “we are in a situation of record drought for soil moisture since July 17 at the national level,” said Jean-Michel Soubeiro, climate scientist at Météo-France.

“Therefore, in early August, the soils are even drier than on the same dates in 1976 and 2003. surface soils that date back to 2003 are beaten,” Météo-France clarifies.

“We do not see an immediate way out of this dry situation. (…) It will take a month of excess rainfall before normality can return,” Jean-Michel Souberu said.

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