“With the temperatures expected at least until Saturday, this record is set to be broken again,” added the public establishment.

This is a record for the number of consecutive days when the average temperature in mainland France exceeds the seasonal norms each day, calculated over the reference period 1981-2010.

On Wednesday, the day when this series started on April 11 was exceeded, several maximum temperature records were beaten or equaled in the south of the country, such as in Albi, Toulouse or Montélimar.

Since the beginning of the month, the average temperature “anomaly” observed in France has reached slightly more than 3°C and Météo-France considers it “highly probable” that May 2022 will become the hottest month of May since the post- war, thus dethroning the 2011 record with an anomaly of 1.85°C.

With the planet’s climate change, periods of heat are set to become more frequent and tend to set in earlier in the spring.

In a tweet, Météo-France explains that the peaks are observed not only at the hottest of the day, but also at the lowest.

Thus, subject to official confirmation at the end of the day, the establishment observed Thursday morning that “the national thermal indicator of minimum temperatures could also have broken a record”.

For example, overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the thermometer did not drop below 21.9°C at Roissy near Paris, which should be a record for a minimum.

– Storms to come –

This episode of heat accentuates concerns about the risk of drought.

The government published a map on Wednesday where 22 departments appear in red, that is to say with a “very probable” risk by the end of the summer, mainly in the south-east and west. Dozens of other departments are in orange, a “probable” risk of drought.

The map was compiled from different data: drop in levels of rivers and lakes, rainfall, and above all the current state of groundwater and soil moisture.

According to the official Propluvia website, 54 water restriction orders have already been taken in 16 departments, mainly in the west and south-east, but also in the north.

On the weather side, the end of the day on Thursday will be marked by the arrival of thunderstorms on the northern half in the afternoon, then by the Bay of Biscay in the evening.

According to forecasts, the maximum temperatures expected are 18 to 21°C from the coasts of the Channel to the tip of Brittany, 20 to 25°C on the Atlantic coast and around the Gulf of Lion, 22 to 28°C on a northern quarter -west, and up to 28 to 33°C over the rest of the country.

The weather will still be rough on Friday, with temperatures up to 24°C along the Atlantic coast and from Brittany to Hauts-de-France, and over the rest of the country up to 33 degrees or even 35° C in Auvergne.

The episode of heat “lasting, extended, intense, exceptional for the season” according to the description of Météo-France, does not however correspond to the technical definition of a “heat wave”.

For this categorization, the “national thermal indicator”, the average of temperatures recorded at 30 points spread over the entire metropolitan territory, must exceed 25.3°C for three consecutive days.

Nor should we speak of a “heat wave”, which includes night temperature criteria.