This heat wave is the second in barely a month in Europe. The multiplication of these phenomena is a direct consequence of global warming according to scientists, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.
Monday could be one of the hottest ever recorded in France: maximum temperatures will be above 30°C everywhere, and between 38°C and 40°C in much of the country.
“The heat is gaining momentum, the heat wave is spreading over the country”, warns the Météo-France institute, which expects to see many temperature records broken, especially in the west and south-west. . “In some areas of the southwest, it will be a heat apocalypse” which could reach 44°C in places on Monday, followed by a “scorching night”.
The peak of this 45th heat wave recorded in France since 1947 is expected on the Atlantic coast, especially in Brittany so far protected by ocean entrances.
As a corollary to this heat wave, peaks in air pollution could appear.
– 40 degrees in England? –
In the UK, the national weather agency has issued the first-ever ‘red’ alert for extreme heat, signifying a ‘risk to life’. The mercury could top 40C in southern England for the first time on Monday or Tuesday, the Met Office has warned.
The British government was accused on Sunday of neglecting the situation, after resigning Prime Minister Boris Johnson missed a crisis meeting on the subject in Downing Street, and his justice minister, Dominic Raab, seemed to be happy to see for the first time the mercury exceeds 40°C in England.
This heat wave passed through Spain caused victims there. On Sunday, a 50-year-old man died of heatstroke, with a body temperature of 40°C, in Torrejon de Ardoz, near Madrid, according to emergency services. A 60-year-old road worker had died the day before in the capital for the same reasons.
On Sunday, the thermometer reached 39°C in Madrid, 39.7°C in Seville (south), and up to 43.4°C in Don Benito near Badajoz (west).
The heat wave leads to forest fires, which have already killed several members of the fire and rescue services.
In Spain, around 20 forest fires are still raging and remain out of control in different parts of the country, from the south to the far northwest in Galicia.
A firefighter was killed in a blaze in Losacio, Zamora province, northwestern Spain on Sunday, local authorities said.
In France, Portugal, Spain and Greece, thousands of hectares of forests have been burned, and many inhabitants and tourists have had to flee their homes.
– Inferno near Bordeaux –
The situation is critical in the south-west of France. Sunday evening, the blaze which devoured 13,000 hectares of vegetation in the Bordeaux region in six days regained ground thanks to swirling winds, leading to new evacuations. According to firefighters, a total of 16,200 holidaymakers have had to pack their bags urgently since Tuesday.
Portugal was experiencing a lull: on Sunday, for the first time since July 8, temperatures there did not exceed 40°C, according to the national meteorological service (IPMA), after having reached a historic record for July of 47°C.
Nevertheless, almost all of Portuguese territory presented a “maximum”, “very high” or “high” risk to fires on Sunday, in particular the central and northern regions. Last week’s fires killed two people and injured 60, and devastated between 12,000 and 15,000 hectares, according to the latest reports.
In the Netherlands, the Netherlands Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) announced on Sunday a National Heat Plan and a smog alert in force from Monday across the country, forecasting a rise in temperatures in the next few days, up to 35 degrees on Monday in the south and up to 38°C in some places on Tuesday.