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GLANCE

From Bergerac to Bordeaux: The cities in France where temperature records could be broken this week

Records are likely to melt away in France this week as the heatwave bakes the country. The mercury is forecast to rise to an all-time high in some of the country's biggest cities, including Paris.

From Bergerac to Bordeaux: The cities in France where temperature records could be broken this week
Bordeaux. Photo: AFP

Much of France was on heatwave alert on Tuesday with the canicule set to last until Friday.

Forecasters have warned that temperatures could rise to record levels in parts of the country this week incuding the country's capital Paris, where the record has held strong since 1947.

It's possible that the country's highest ever temperature of 46C, set in the département of Herault during last month's heatwave, could also be beaten this week.

Here are some cities in France that could see the mercury rise to record levels this week. The list is clearly not exhaustive with many towns including Reims, Bourges and Clermont-Ferrand set for record-highs.

Paris

“Thursday (July 25th) will be a potentially historically hot day,” said François Jobard – a forecaster from Météo France.”We are forecasting 41 or 42 degrees in Paris on Thursday and there is the strong chance of beating the record,” he added.

The highest ever temperature recorded in Paris was 40.4C in 1947. Since records began in 1873, this was the only time a plus-40 temperature was recorded in the French capital, he said.

Forecaster Regis Crépet from La Chaine Méteo website said records will be broken in the towns around Paris if not the capital itself.

“Whatever happens in Paris records will be broken in the Île-de-France (greater Paris) region,” he said.

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AFP

Toulouse

The Pink City in the south west of France is already heating up. 

On Monday night Toulouse broke the record for its warmest ever nighttime temperature, which was a staggering 24.6C.

The city in the south west is no stranger to high temperatures of course but forecasters believe the record temperature of 40.7C could be broken this week. They suggest the mercury could pass the 41C mark.

Bordeaux

Like Toulouse, Bordeaux has also already seen one record tumble this week with Monday's nighttime temperature of 24.8C the warmest ever recorded, beating the previous record by a full 1C.

“Bordeaux's record temperature will likely be beaten on Tuesday,” La Chaine Méteo's Regis Crépet told Le Parisien newspaper.

While the hottest ever July temperature recorded in Bordeaux was 38.8C, the all-time highest temperature recorded was during the heatwave of August 2003 when the mercury rose to 40.7C.

This week forecasters believe the thermometer will likely pass the 41C mark.

Bergerac

(Bergerac – JPC24M/Flickr)

Bergerac in Dordogne is one place to avoid over the coming days if you can.

Forecasters in France believe the temperature could hit a horrible 42C, well above the current record of 41.1C.

The highest ever temperature recorded in July for Bergerac stands at 38.7C, which looks like it will easily be broken.

Poitiers

As the heatwave moves across France this week, the city of Poitiers in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine will warm up, perhaps to a record level.

While the current record temperature for the city in the Vienne département is 40.8C, recorded in July 1947, forecasters believe the mercury will push past 41C this week.

If records are going to go it will likely be on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.

Nighttime temperatures in the area will also be uncomfortably high this week.

Nantes

While its proximity to the sea might mean those living in Nantes (Les Nantais) are usually spared the worst of France's heatwaves, this week will be slightly different.

While the record temperature stands at 40.3C, forecasters believe it is under threat.

However those further north and west in the region of Brittany can gloat as they won't be affected by this week's heatwave.

Orléans

As the heatwave spreads north and west on Thursday the city of Orléans in central France could see its all-time high temperature of 40.3C beaten.

Forecasters are predicting the mercury will rise to between 37C and 39C in the city on Wednesday but up to 41C on Thursday.

“On Thursday it will be hotter in Orléans than Nimes. Between Orléans and Paris on Thursday the weather will be torrid,” La Chaine Météo's Regis Crépet said.

Amiens

Amiens. Isamiga76/FLickr

The far north of France will not miss out on the heatwave this week. In fact it is in the north of France where forecasters believe most records will be broken.

In Amiens, where the all-time high temperature stands at 37.8C, the mercury is forecast to hit 40C on Thursday.

Lille

The northern city that stands on the Belgian border is normally a pleasant place to be in summer, but not this week.

The record high temperature of 37.7C will be under threat on Thursday with forecasters predicting highs of between 37C and 39C.

But cheer up – all this is set to come to an end on Friday when storms are forecast to lash the country and bring temperatures right back down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Snobs, beaches and drunks – 5 things this joke map teaches us about France

A popular joke 'map' of France has once again been widely shared on social media, sparking endless jokes at the expense of certain regions of France.

Snobs, beaches and drunks - 5 things this joke map teaches us about France
Image AFP/cartesfrance.fr
But while the map – created by cartesfrance.fr – is clearly intended to be comic, it teaches us some important points about France’s regional divides, local stereotypes and in-jokes.
 

 
 
 
Here are some of the key points.
 
1. Everyone hates Parisians
 
The map is purportedly France as seen through the eyes of Parisians, and contains a series of snobbish and rude generalisations about every part of France that is not maison (home) in the capital and its surroundings. The great majority of the country is labelled simply as paysans (peasants).
 
The general stereotype about Parisians is that they are snobs, rudely judging the rest of the country which they regard as backwards and full of ploucs (yokels) apart from small areas which make nice holiday destinations.
 
Like all sweeping generalisations, this is true of some people and very much not of others, but one of the few things that can unite people from all areas of France is how much they hate les parigots têtes de veaux (a colloquialism that very roughly translates as ‘asshole Parisians’)
 
 
2. Staycations rule
 
Even before Covid-related travel restrictions, holidaying within France was the norm for many French people.
 
As the map shows, Parisians regard the southern and western coastlines as simply plages (beaches) which they decamp to for at least a month in July or August. In the height of summer French cities tend to empty out (apart from tourists) as locals head to the seaside or the countryside.
 
 
In winter the Pyrenees and Alps are popular ski destinations.
 
3. Northerners like a drink
 
There is a very widespread stereotype, although not really backed up by evidence, that the people of Normandy, Brittany and the Nord area like a drink or two. Many suggest this is to cope with the weather, which does tend to be rainier than the rest of France (although has plenty of sunshine too).
 
 
Official health data doesn’t really back this up, as none of these areas show a significantly greater than average rate of daily drinkers, although Nord does hold the sad record for the highest rate of people dying from alcohol-related liver disease.
 
What’s certainly true is that Brittany and Normandy are cider country, with delicious locally-produced ciders on sale everywhere, well worth a try if you are visiting.
 
 
4. Poverty
 
The map labels the north eastern corner of France as simply pauvres – the poor.
 
The north east of the country was once France’s industrial and coal-mining heartland, and as traditional industries have declined there are indeed pockets of extreme poverty and high unemployment. The novel The End of Eddy, telling the story of novelist Edouard Louis’ childhood in a struggling small town near Amiens, lays out the social problems of such areas in stark detail.
 
However poverty is not just confined to one corner of France and the département that records the highest levels of deprivation is actually Seine-Saint-Denis in the Paris suburbs.
 
5. Southern prejudice
 
According to the map, those from the south are either branleurs (slackers) or menteurs (liars). 
 
This isn’t true, obviously, there are many lovely, hard-working and truthful people in southern France, but the persistent stereotype is that they are lazy – maybe because it’s too hot to do much work – and slightly shifty.
 
Even people who aren’t actually rude about southerners can be pretty patronising, as shown when south west native Jean Castex became the prime minister in summer 2020. 
 
Castex has a noticeable south west accent which sparked much comment from the Paris-based media and political classes, with comments ranging from the patronising – “I love his accent, I feel like I’m on holiday” – to the very patronising – “that accent is a bit rugby” (a reference to the fact that TV rugby commentators often come from France’s rugby heartlands in the south west).
 
 
In his first year as PM, Castex has undertaken a dizzying schedule of appointments around the four corners of France, so hopefully the lazy myth can now be put to bed.
 
And anyone tempted to take the piss out of his accent – glottophobie (accent prejudice) is now a crime in France.
 
For more maps that reflect France, head to cartesfrance.fr
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