Large parts of France facing drought after heatwave
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Several areas in France are facing water shortages, notably the Creuse region and some northern cities, which have not seen rain since the start of the summer. The national weather service, Météo-France, warns that 61 of the 96 mainland departments face a water crisis.
Water shortages in France are not rare, and soil humidity was close to normal until the start of June. But the heat wave at the end of the month, which broke all-time temperature records in France, dried out the soil, and there has been little rainfall since.
"Some cities in the north have not had a single drop of rain since the start of summer on 21 June,” said Météo-France. Paris has not seen “a single drop of water”, which has never before happened during this period.No change is expected in the coming days, with sunny days throughout the country and high temperatures.
🌡️C'est officiel : on a atteint les 46 °C en France lors de la vague de chaleur de la fin juin ! Après contrôle et expertise par les climatologues de Météo-France, cette valeur a été validée. 👉 https://t.co/nZ0uXY7CCk pic.twitter.com/Pdao8XkOFKMétéo-France (@meteofrance) July 19, 2019
As a result, some areas have put in place water restrictions. Farmers are being told to cut back on irrigation. Individuals are only to use water for essential purposes, and not to wash their cars or water plants.
In the eastern Vosges region, foresters have been cutting down fir trees which are dying of thirst. And around Europe, 60 to 80 million trees have been infested with parasites attracted to dying trees.
Drought across Europe
In Spain, grape and tomato harvests are wilting. The country is seeing its third driest year this century.
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Unusually high temperatures are expected to continue in Spain into August and September.
Spanish weather agency AEMET said around two-thirds of the country's population are having to deal with longer summers and higher temperatures as a result of climate change.