At the height of the heat wave, the third hitting the country since the beginning of the summer, up to 26 departments had been placed on heat wave orange vigilance, with temperatures which could rise to 40 degrees, first in the Southwest before shifting to the eastern half of the country.

For the departments which remain concerned, the temperatures will generally be above 35 degrees, with peaks between 36 and 38 degrees, locally 39 degrees, said Météo-France in its press release.

Thunderstorms, violent in places, are also expected, with the risk of hail and precipitation which could be heavy in places, all accompanied by gusts of wind of up to 70 to 80 km / h.

They could cause “significant damage locally”, warns the meteorological organization, which calls on residents to be extremely vigilant.

Météo-France also reiterates its advice in the event of strong heat, in particular to limit travel to the hottest hours and hydrate regularly, as well as paying particular attention to the elderly or those suffering from chronic illnesses.

Started on Wednesday, this heat wave first affected the South-West before moving to the large eastern half of the country, from Alsace to the PACA region, an episode however shorter than the previous one, which ended on July 25 and lasted 14 days.

Faced with an “exceptional drought” and a “historic situation that many territories are going through”, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne activated the interministerial crisis unit on Friday. A meeting is scheduled for the day, according to a government source.

“This drought is the most serious ever recorded in our country” and “the weather forecasts suggest that the situation could continue over the next 15 days, or even become even more worrying”, underlines Matignon.

Since 1947, 45 heat waves have been recorded in France.

They “have been significantly more numerous in recent decades. Over the past 35 years, they have been three times more numerous than over the previous 35 years”, according to Météo-France.