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

“Between Wednesday and Thursday the maximum will often be greater than or equal to 35°C with peaks at 39 or 40°C in the South-West”, specified Météo-France, which placed 26 departments on heat wave orange alert.

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

This heat wave will be shorter than the previous one, forecasts Météo-France, which does not yet say when it will end.

The latest ended on July 25 and lasted 14 days, leaving just a few days to breathe a little.

“We are worried about these close repetitions of heat waves”, which “do not allow organizations to return to normal functioning”, explained Isabelle Bonmarin of Public Health France (SPF) during the press briefing.

“We expect excess mortality as soon as we go into a heat wave (…) and in particular those aged 75 and over”, added his colleague Robin Lagarrigue, indicating that “an assessment will be made at the start of the school year, in September “.

– Soil drought –

On the side of forest fires, a fire having covered “450 hectares” of maquis in the town of Santo-Pietro-di-Tenda in Haute-Corse without threatening homes was “fixed” Tuesday evening, said a door- word of firefighters.

Niozelles, a village in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, on the other hand, was preventively evacuated on Tuesday due to a fire which covered 210 hectares without ever threatening homes, the firefighters announced.

And the traffic of TER and TGV trains was interrupted Tuesday afternoon in the Landes due to a fire, and should not resume in the evening, said the SNCF. On the Bordeaux-Hendaye and Bordeaux-Dax-Tarbes lines, “three TGVs bound for Paris from the south of Bordeaux have been held up at Dax station. They will return to their station of origin”, added the SNCF.

This heat only reinforces the dryness. July 2022 is “the second driest month of all months combined” in France since the start of measurements in 1958-1959, with an aggregate precipitation total of 9.7 millimeters, i.e. a precipitation deficit of around 84% compared to normal, according to Météo-France.

In Gérardmer, (Vosges), the flow of the springs is so low that the municipality will supply its public water network with water from the lake. Result, from Wednesday, the water will be declared non-potable, a priori for 48 hours, the time to carry out bacteriological tests.

In addition, “we have been in a situation of record drought for soil humidity since July 17 at the national level”, indicated Jean-Michel Soubeyroux, climatologist at Météo-France.

“At the beginning of August, the soils are therefore even drier than they were on the same date in 1976 and in 2003. By the middle of August, it is likely that this situation will worsen again, and that the absolute record of dryness of surface soils which dates from 2003 is beaten”, specifies Météo-France.

“We don’t see an immediate exit from this drought situation. (…) It would take a month of excess rainfall before a normal situation could return,” said Jean-Michel Soubeyroux.