After the many heat records broken on Saturday in the west of the country, a “strong stormy deterioration” is “expected in the evening Sunday from New Aquitaine to Ile-de-France” by Météo-France which underlines an “episode early and intense heatwave in progress over a large eastern part of the country”.
Saturday evening, a powerful and unexpected gust of wind on the “flowery coast”, between Ouistreham and Deauville, caused the death of a kite-surfer, projected against the window of a restaurant in Villers-sur-Mer (Calvados) .
This unexpected meteorological phenomenon, which “lasted 20 to 25 minutes”, also caused “three minor injuries”, said the prefecture.
If the temperatures cool on the Atlantic coast, the heat wave persists in the north-eastern regions where Météo-France forecasts up to 38 degrees, and locally a little more in the plain of Alsace.
The meteorological service noted Saturday “peaks close to 42 ° / 43 ° C” in the south-west, with temperature records “all months combined”, such as in Biarritz (42.9 ° C) or on the basin of ‘Arcachon (in Cap-Ferret) (41.9°C) or in the Landes, in Biscarrosse (41°C, 1968 record equaled).
The symbolic 40°C mark has also been reached elsewhere in the West, such as Deux-Sèvres (Niort), Charente-Maritime (Rochefort), Ille-et-Villaine (at La Noé-Blanche), Maine-et-Loire (Angers) and Indre-et-Loire (Reignac). However, the mercury did not exceed 37°C in Paris.
– Starts of fires and pollution –
Even if it has resulted since Thursday in the cancellation of festive, sporting and cultural events, such as the pilgrimage of veterans planned in Lourdes on the occasion of the anniversary of the appeal of June 18, 1940, the heat does not did not prevent tens of thousands of people from continuing to celebrate at Hellfest, the high mass of metal and other extreme music in Clisson (Loire-Atlantique).
By 40°C, the few shaded areas of the site were taken by storm in the afternoon, like the water points and the metal structures watering the breathless but overexcited spectators who did not give up “pogotering “in the middle of a dodger, noted an AFP journalist.
In Strasbourg, where the heat will continue on Sunday, between 10 and 15,000 people according to the police took part in the Visibility March.
In some cities, museums have welcomed visitors in search of freshness. Bordeaux, where the mercury rose to 40.5°C according to Météo-France, a record for June, had also made them accessible free of charge.
In Paris, where parks and gardens were to remain open at night, the Aquaboulevard water park was stormed by hundreds of people who came to cool off in its multiple pools, according to videos posted on social networks.
The heat, combined with the drought which was already hitting part of the country, favored the start of fires, in particular harvests, as in Deux-Sèvres, in red vigilance since Thursday, where 21 hectares burned on Saturday.
In Aveyron, firefighters continued to fight a fire that destroyed 140 hectares of vegetation in Comprégnac, with an unfavorable wind and on steep terrain.
In the south-east, a fire caused by artillery fire at a major army training camp in the Var burned around 600 hectares of vegetation on Saturday but was close to being fixed.
The heat wave led to high levels of ozone concentrations in the air, particularly in Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France, Normandy and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, according to Prev’Air, which indicates that “the situation should change favorably” from Sunday.
This heat wave arrived from the Maghreb via the Iberian Peninsula where Spain is facing major fires, one of which has already ravaged 20,000 hectares of land in the northwest of the country.
For scientists, the multiplication, intensification and lengthening of heat waves, aggravated by greenhouse gas emissions, constitute an unequivocal marker of global warming.