HEAT WEATHER – “Still very hot on August 17, 2050 with a barely veiled blazing sun.” 8 years ago on TF1, Évelyne Dhéliat presented a fake weather report, with abnormally high temperatures, based on Météo France forecasts for 2050 in connection with global warming. This Friday, July 15, the map she posted on Twitter is very real and unfortunately close to the disaster scenario presented in 2014… three decades in advance.
France has been facing a new heat wave since Tuesday and several southern departments are placed on heatwave orange vigilance. According to Météo France, the heat should intensify between Sunday and Tuesday with a peak expected on Monday, where “extreme temperatures” are expected “on the Atlantic arc”. Forecasts “maddening”, deplores, this Friday, Évelyne Dhéliat.
“Between 40 and 42°C or more, in the western regions, she comments. With an offshore wind expected in some of these regions with great caution, the risk of fires remains and will remain very high. In her message, the presenter, who joined Twitter last June, wanted to send her “thoughts and esteem for our firefighters”, who are notably facing several fires in Gironde and in the Bouches-du-Rhône.
Acceleration of heat episodes
In 2014, scientists predicted such temperatures for 2050 if nothing was done to counter global warming. “Then will you say to me: ‘all this is only fiction for 2050’. Well don’t think that this bulletin came out of my imagination since it was formulated with great seriousness by Météo France”, warned, 8 years ago, one of the figures of TF1. This “foresight” exercise had also been carried out in other countries, recalled Gilles Bouleau.
Thus, in the United Kingdom too, the projections made at the end of 2020 by the Met Office, the British national meteorological service, for the year 2050 are close to the temperatures currently observed. “Left is a Met Office projection of what a summer heatwave could look like in 2050,” a UK Labor Party executive tweeted on Friday July 15. On the right, the weather forecast for Tuesday, produced this morning by the BBC. “The climate crisis is real and it is happening now. Wake up,” he concludes.
The British meteorological service also issued for the first time, this Friday, July 15, a red “extreme heat” alert for Monday and Tuesday in England, in anticipation of temperatures that could exceed records or even the threshold of 40°C. . “Exceptional, possibly record-breaking, temperatures are likely early next week,” said Paul Gundersen, chief meteorologist at Britain’s Met Office, in a statement.
Acceleration of heat waves
These findings are prompting several weather journalists, including Marc Hay of BFMTV, to change the way they talk about heat waves. “The projections that we showed for 2050 have already happened. In 2019, it was a warning signal and we thought it would happen in 15 or 20 years, and in fact it happens three years later”, he said in mid-June, when the temperatures were already above normal for the season.
Scientists have indeed observed an acceleration of heat episodes over the recent period. 23 heat wave episodes have been recorded over the past 21 years (between 2000 and 2021) against only 17 in 53 years (over the period 1947-1999), observed Météo France.
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