France is currently experiencing a very early heatwave since Tuesday. This should be classified as a heatwave in several departments starting Thursday.
Stephane Nedeljkovitch is a meteorologist at MeteoNews. He takes stock.
Can you explain for us how this heat wave arrived?
Hot air from Morocco is moving through Spain to France via the Pyrenees. The southwest, as well as the more general south, of France will be most affected. The flow will then travel east and north through the country. Even with the high temperatures, it is best to avoid the north. The torrid weather is caused by a small depression near Portugal. Temperatures in the south have risen significantly since Tuesday and will rise further Wednesday across the entire territory.
It will be humid or dry, making it even more difficult to bear.
This Wednesday, there is likely to be quite high humidity, especially in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, with possible thunderstorms. It will therefore be less bearable. We will see a slight easterly wind from Thursday onwards, which will dry the air mass slightly. However, even with extremely dry air, high temperatures of 37, 38, or more are difficult to bear.
Is it possible to have such a heat episode so quickly?
In general, heat waves start later, yes. They are more common in July and August. We are starting to get used it. The majority of current heat records in France date back to June 2019. It starts earlier and earlier. It's also stronger than ever, so it's not all that reassuring. It is important to see if this kind of phenomenon will occur again this summer or if it is a one-time event. In terms of heat, May has already been a record-breaking month.
How long should this go on?
We should maintain a stable environment with very high temperatures until Friday. We expect a stormy degrading from the west on Sunday. This makes the episode of five days long. The models are still capable of evolving. The episode can continue if the disturbance alters course. This was the case in 2003 when the impending end of the heatwave was announced each day. It lasted for three weeks. It is always hard to forecast or anticipate stormy areas.
These storms will get worse the more hotter it gets.
Yes, it is possible to have significant thunderstorms if cold and humid air meets very warm air.