Paris set for hottest temperature in history

An intense heatwave building across Europe will bring record temperatures to Paris on Thursday, authorities have warned.

A heatwave alert has been issued for the French capital, less than a month after a similar heatwave saw France experience the hottest day in its history.

Temperatures on Thursday will reach up to 42C, according to Meteo France, breaking the previous record temperature of 40.4C, which was set in July 1947.

Meteo France warned that Paris and other cities will be particularly vulnerable during the period of extreme heat due to a phenomenon known as the “urban heat island”.

This effect is caused by buildings and roads absorbing heat during the day and acting like radiators during the night, so that the city is unable to cool down during the heatwave.

The weather agency said the urban heat island effect in Paris can result in temperatures in the city reaching up to 10C higher than rural areas. Relief from the extreme heat is expected to arrive on Friday, when temperatures drop to around 34C.

The latest heatwave comes from a mass of hot air flowing up from the Iberian Peninsula and has already resulted in record temperatures in some parts of the country.

Bordeaux, Blois and Le Mans were among the cities to register record temperatures on Tuesday, with the mercury reaching as high as 42C in Brive.

Many of the previous records were set in the heatwave of 2003, which resulted in the deaths of more than 15,000 people in the country.

In terms of average temperature across the country, the current heatwave has already surpassed the heatwave of late June, which saw a record temperature of 46.1C in the south of France.

“This is the hottest day in the country since the heatwave of August 2003,” Meteo France said.

Heatwaves such as this one will become increasingly common, according to climate scientists.

A landmark study published one year after the 2003 heatwave found human-caused climate change made extreme heat events twice as likely to occur.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was in Paris on Tuesday to warn politicians they needed to act urgently to avert catastrophe, though some right-wing MPs refused to attend.

“Some people have chosen not to come here today, some have chosen not to listen to us,” Ms Thunberg said.

“You don’t have to listen to us. But you do have to listen to the science.”