For the first time, "an orange heat wave vigilance has been triggered beyond the summer period, since the establishment of vigilance for this phenomenon in 2004", states Météo-France while fourteen departments of Ile-de-France and Centre-Val de Loire will be on Friday September 8 at noon in orange heatwave vigilance.
This "unprecedented" episode of heat for the month of September contributes to producing significant air pollution in Paris. The opening match of the Rugby World Cup, Friday evening in Saint-Denis, will therefore be played in a hot (28°C in the evening) and polluted atmosphere, after a week where Paris experienced more than 30°C every day, as in many regions of France.
Maximum temperatures will still reach 34 to 36 degrees, with peaks at 37 in Centre-Val de Loire. And nighttime temperatures will even increase, according to Météo-France. An exceptional sequel to the fourth hottest summer ever measured in France, and the hottest worldwide.
According to climatologists, human-caused global warming is making heatwaves more frequent and more severe, but also earlier and later. Some 37 other departments, mainly in the northern half of the country, are at the lowest level, on yellow alert (be vigilant), which has led to an increase in pollution levels in several regions. Several prefectures have reduced traffic speeds and banned open burning.
No immediate clear improvement
High heat and sunshine react with car and truck exhaust and volatile organic compounds to generate ozone, a harmful gas at low altitudes that causes respiratory problems and asthma attacks. This is what Ile-de-France has been experiencing since Wednesday, with “a weak wind preventing the dispersion of pollution,” explained the Airparif organization, which believes that no “clear” improvement is to be expected. before the start of next week. This episode “so late in the summer season is rare”, adds this regional air quality monitoring association, highlighting “the close links between air pollution and climate change”.
Since Wednesday, the police headquarters have implemented traffic restriction measures to reduce emissions, without triggering differentiated traffic.
In Hauts-de-France, the Nord and Pas-de-Calais have been suffering since Thursday an episode of PM10 particle pollution (diameter less than 10 microns, often caused by construction sites, heating and factories), which come into play. the occurrence of eastern Europe. “Relatively high levels” will remain throughout the weekend, according to the Hauts-de-France Regional Atmo Observatory.
In Brittany, Finistère and Ille-et-Vilaine have also been affected since Thursday by a reduction in speed due to fine particles from several sources (local and Sahara dust). Since Wednesday, motorists have also been recommended to reduce their speed on the roads of Landes, the Basque Country and Béarn due to a peak linked to sand dust from the Sahara carried by the wind.