This heat wave, linked to a localized depression between the Azores and Madeira which promotes warm air rising over Western Europe, should arrive on Tuesday evening in the far south of the country, before spreading to the whole of the country on Wednesday. the southern half, Frédéric Nathan, forecaster at Météo-France, told AFP.

This episode of high heat over several days, from mid-June, is “extremely early”, he added. Between Thursday and Saturday, very high temperatures of 35°C to 38°C are expected on the southern half, and the mercury could even approach 40°C locally. Minimum temperatures should not drop below 20°C at night.

The forecasts do not currently allow us to say that this episode will formally be a heat wave, which meets specific criteria (period of intense and lasting heat, day and night, over an extended period of more than three days in general ). However, it is possible that the heat wave threshold will be reached or even exceeded in certain departments, according to Météo-France.

The extension of this heat wave to the northern half of the country is still uncertain, but there should also be a “hot flash”, according to Frédéric Nathan, referring in particular to the possibility that the mercury will reach 35°C in Paris by example Friday or Saturday.

The multiplication and intensification of heat waves and heat waves are the most obvious manifestations of global warming caused by human activities.

France has experienced several exceptional heat waves since the beginning of the 21st century, in particular that of the summer of 2003, or that of June 2019 when the absolute temperature record in metropolitan France was recorded in Vérargues (Hérault), with 46°C.

This week’s heat wave comes after a particularly hot and dry spring which caused drought in much of France, raising fears for crops.

Despite the rains recorded last week in part of the territory, “we remain in a very worrying situation with extremely dry soils and this will not help the situation”, noted the forecaster.

In this context, more and more departments are implementing water use restrictions. As of June 12, 35 departments had issued decrees to this effect, according to the official Propluvia website, compared to 22 ten days ago.