The country has been affected since Tuesday by a heat wave arriving from the Maghreb via Spain, which first affected the Southwest before spreading.
Temperatures of between 30 and 35°C were recorded on Wednesday across the southern half of the country, and the heat wave will continue to spread.
Météo-France expects maximum values of 34 to 38 degrees in the southern half on Thursday, with some possible peaks of up to 39/40 degrees in the shade locally. It will generally be less hot in the northern half, with between 25 and 30 degrees.
The weather will be scorching on Friday over much of the country, with the heat wave extending to the northern regions and intensifying further in the west and south. At the hottest of the afternoon, Météo-France expects 36 to 39 degrees in these regions, and locally the thermometers can reach 40 degrees in the shade.
Attributed to global warming, heat waves are increasing around the world, including in France where this episode is unprecedentedly early, ahead of those of 2017 and 2005 which began on June 18.
Spain has also been suffocating for six days, with temperatures that in places exceed 40°C, and had to face several fires on Thursday.
The most worrying broke out near Baldomar, in the province of Lérida (Catalonia, north-east), where the fire has already destroyed 500 hectares of forest, but has “the potential” to spread to 20,000 hectares, according to the Catalan regional government.
In Lérida, temperatures of up to 41ºC are expected on Thursday, according to the Spanish Meteorological Agency (Aemet), which also predicts temperatures above 40ºC in Badajoz (southwest) and Zaragoza (northeast).