France Declares a Heatwave Emergency in the South. The highest danger status in the four departments, Rhone, Drome, Ardeche and Haute-Loire, came into effect at 16:00 local time, Monday (21/8). According to records from the meteorological agency, Meteo France, the air temperature will range from 35 to 38 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature of 41 degrees Celsius is expected to hit the northwestern region of the Rhone Valley. However, temperatures are expected to continue rising on Tuesday (22/8), with a range of 40 to 42 degrees Celsius in the four departments in the south, Ardeche, Drome, Vaucluse and Gard, wrote Meteo France..
This kind of warning has been announc six times by the French meteorological agency throughout the year.
Danger in the Alps
The threat of hot weather has also prompted authorities to advise climbers to refrain from climbing Mount Mont Blanc. The warning was issued due to above average temperatures which double the danger of landslides. We appeal to all those who have a sense of responsibility, to postpone using the normal route to Mont Blanc.
Switzerland’s meteorological agency has announced a new record altitude limit. Where temperatures remain stable below freezing. On Monday, MeteoSwitzerland recorded the zero degree mark at 5,298 meters. The highest on record since weather records began in 1954. Last July, the ice and snow conditions on the seven routes to the summit of Mont Blanc were reportedly so severe that only the most experienced were allow to climb. Authorities in France also had to close two huts used by climbers on the Mont Blanc track to spend the night. Typically, as many as 100 to 120 climbers summit the mountain in summer.
France is experiencing what is known as a “heat dome,” where high pressure weather traps warm air and triggers a spike in temperatures. Currently, 96 departments are at the second warning level. A number of them will receive the highest danger status on Tuesday (22/8). The heatwave is predict to be “intensive and long-lasting,” and will intensify “at the end of summer,”
wrote Meteo France in a press release. Drought and hot temperatures are fueling forest fires at the foot of the Alps in southern France. At the end of last week, as many as 260 firefighters were deploy to control the fire which devoured around 120 hectares of forest near the village of Chanousse. Residents responded to high temperatures by staying at home or spraying city swimming pools, fountains or beaches. We went to the pool, so it’s a cheap and effective way to dissipate the heat,” Nathalie Chopin told AFP. It was very hot. If we weren’t swimming we stayed in the apartment, closed all the windows and doors.