New heat records for the month of May were recorded on Sunday, particularly in the Massif Central and the Alps, according to provisional figures from Météo-France. Several broken records had been set the day before, noted the national meteorological agency, while the country has been experiencing unusual heat for more than a month.
“With 25.7°C this afternoon, the Superbesse resort (Puy-de-Dôme), opened in 1976, is improving […] its monthly record, set yesterday (25.4°C),” noted Météo-France. Same situation at Puy-Chadrac (Haute-Loire, 714m above sea level, opened in 1928) with 34.0°C against 32.5°C on Saturday, at Puy-Loudes (Haute-Loire, 833m, opened in 1984) with 32.4°C after 30.9°C the day before, or even Ambert (Puy-de-Dôme, 555m, opened in 1993) with 32.6°C (previous record set on Saturday with 32.1°C). Records were also reached in Isère in Grenoble (31.4°C), L’Alpe d’Huez (24.1°C) and Villard-de-Lans (29.7°C), as well as in weather stations in Vendée, Lot, Drôme and Hautes-Alpes, again according to Météo-France.
The absolute daytime temperature record in France for the month of May, however, has not been beaten, according to the state of these not yet final readings: this is 36.2°C, in Dax (Landes) on May 30, 1996, said a spokesman for Météo-France. France has broken a record for a hot period in spring with 40 consecutive days above seasonal norms, according to a report dating from Saturday, the data not yet being sufficient on Sunday evening to confirm that this series has continued, according to the spokesperson. With the planet’s climate change, periods of heat are set to become more frequent and tend to set in earlier in the spring. The peaks are observed not only at the hottest of the day, but also at the lowest.
At the same time as these records, a major part of France was placed under storm vigilance, including 21 departments in orange vigilance (a quadrilateral from Landes to Rhône in the south and from Deux-Sèvres to Cher in the north), and 66 others in yellow, according to a bulletin dated 4:07 p.m. Sunday and valid until 4 p.m. Monday. The only areas not concerned are three Breton departments (Finistère, Côtes-d’Armor and Morbihan) and four in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (Vaucluse, Var, Bouches-du-Rhône and Alpes-de-Haute- Provence) as well as the two Corsican departments.