New episode of heat wave, after the driest month of July since 1958
► A record drought for the month of July
France experienced its driest July since 1958, when meteorological measurements began, Météo France announced. The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region experienced its hottest July since 1947. At the national level, only July 2006 remained warmer.
Last month was characterized by a huge deficit of precipitation since on average over the whole country it fell eight millimeters from the 1st to the 25th of the month.
As a result, France had another record: that of “the number of departments with restrictions” on the use of water, according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition. Of 96 departments, only Yvelines, Haute-Vienne, Hauts-de-Seine, Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis are not affected by at least one prefectural decree limiting certain uses of water, according to the site of government drought information, Propluvia.
► Beginning of a new heat wave
“The heat is intensifying again”, warned Météo France on Sunday July 31. With 35 to 39 degrees expected on Monday, five departments in the south of France were placed under orange vigilance on Sunday before a new episode of heat wave.
Ardèche, Drôme, Gard, Pyrénées-Orientales and Vaucluse should cross a « new heatwave episode whose intensity and duration will be less than those of the previous episode », said Météo France. The ten other departments in the south-eastern quarter of France have been placed on yellow alert. The episode of high heat should then « to extend Tuesday and Wednesday to many regions »to the west and in the Rhone valley, according to forecasts.
Nationally, the heat peak is expected for Wednesday with maximums often greater than or equal to 35 ° C and peaks at 39 or 40 degrees in the southwest. This peak, however, should be « short in many departments »according to Météo France, and cooler air could arrive Thursday from the northwest.
► New fires
New fires affected the south-east of France on Sunday July 31. South of Nîmes (Gard), fanned by the Mistral and the Tramontana, a fire destroyed 370 hectares of pine forest and four firefighters were injured, one seriously. Two homes were affected by the flames. The fire could be fixed overnight from Sunday to Monday.
In the Bouches du Rhône, about twenty kilometers from Marseille, a fire which broke out at the end of the afternoon near Pennes-Mirabeau, was » fixed « on Sunday evening after covering 35 hectares. Some 200 houses threatened by the flames have been protected.
On the Atlantic side, a fire started on Sunday at the end of the day in the forest town of Mano, on the border with Gironde and covered an area of 300 hectares. In its latest report on Monday, the Landes prefecture indicated that the fire « not progressing anymore » even though the fire was » ongoing « . The flames have already burned 150 hectares of pines, but no homes have been affected.