France put on hot weather alert as heat wave reaches Europe

France has activated a heatwave plan to care for those most vulnerable to the intense heat

France has activated a heatwave plan to care for those most vulnerable to the intense heat

"The combination of a storm stalled over the Atlantic and high pressure over central Europe would pull very hot air from Africa northward, leading to a "potentially unsafe heatwave over a large portion of western and central Europe", forecaster AccuWeather said".

Europe is bracing for blistering weather this week as hot air from the Sahara is expected to bring temperatures of 104F (40C) to cities across the continent - including the French capital of Paris.

It issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday, saying the highest temperatures would be in excess of 86F (30C) in central and southwest England.

However those extreme hot temperatures lasted for two weeks, whereas the worst of the heat is expected to be over by early next week.

Meteorologists placed more than half of France, including around the capital, on alert for high temperatures Monday as a heatwave was expected to spread across continental Europe this week.

Thursday will be another warm and sunny day with highs of 20 to 27 degrees, again warmest in the midwest.

France introduced a heat watch warning system after a long, deadly heatwave in August 2003.

France's Health Minister said the French government is well prepared for the heatwave as every city knows what to do.

Germany, with temperatures forecast to hit 40 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, has urged people to look out for those vulnerable to high temperatures, . such as children and elderly people.

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He expects records will be set for the month, "and in some places records for all months combined".

But electric fans were in short supply after weather reports prompted a rush on stores over the weekend, and France's electric grid operator RTE is expecting a surge in demand as air-conditioning is turned up to maximum. "It is the night I am especially afraid of".

Spain meanwhile is facing temperatures of above 35 degrees in large parts of the country, and above 40 in the centre.

Similar warnings were issued by German and Italian services, who said that the intense weather was due early this week and likely to last until at least the weekend.

Even Scandinavian countries are not being spared, with parts of southern Denmark and Sweden likely to reach 30 degrees starting Tuesday. Luckily, most were set to be played at night.

Scientists say measurements show that heat waves in Europe are becoming more frequent.

"The hottest summers in Europe since the year 1500 AD all occurred since the last turn of the century: 2018, 2010, 2003, 2016, 2002", said Stefan Rahmstorf, co-chair of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

The Paris climate deal aims to contain increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.6 Fahrenheit), committing nations to reduce emissions to this end.

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