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France braces for another heatwave as record temperature revised up to 46°C

Philippe Huguen, AFP | France braces for another heatwave weeks after the mercury touched record levels in southern France.

France braces for another heatwave this week as its national weather service revised the country's all-time record-high temperature to 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees F), which was recorded last month in southern France.

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France’s second heatwave in as many months is set to be accompanied by high humidity and a spike in air pollution levels, the weather service has warned.

Much of Europe sweltered through sizzling heat in late June, with temperatures in France in particular breaking all-time records.

At the peak of the heatwave on June 28, Meteo-France had said the record was 45.9 degrees Celsius (114.6 degrees Fahrenheit) registered in Gallargues-le-Montueux, a village in the southern department of Gard near Montpellier.

But it announced on Friday that after a new analysis of the data, a record 46.0 degrees Celsius had been recorded in Verargues in the nearby Herault department on the same day.

The announcement came as forecasters warned of a new blast of hot weather in France next week, although it is not expected to last long or challenge the records set in June.

French authorities activated a heatwave alert plan, classing the risk as 'orange'. The scale, which goes from green, to yellow, orange and then red, indicates the level of care that needs to be taken to keep safe during the heatwave. At the orange level, people are told to remain 'very vigilant', drink regularly, have frequent showers, and not to go outside at the hottest times of the day.

Weather woes hit vineyards

Wine production in France this year will be down by between six and 13 percent over 2018, notably because of the ongoing heatwave, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

France was hit hard by poor weather conditions, including a heatwave at the end of June.

That and other factors meant that production should be between 42.8 and 46.4 million hectolitres -- the lowest figures in the last five years, said the ministry, based on estimates drawn up on July 12.

Unfavourable weather conditions hit the flowering of the vine, particularly in the western wine regions of France, such as Val de Loire, Charente, Bordelais the wines of the southwest.

Hailstorms also affected some vines but they did less damage nationally.

France, along with Spain and Italy, is one of the world's top three wine producers and exporters, according to industry figures released last week.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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