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Record Heat

WHAT !!!!! Southern France is expected to hit 113 F today! Who is traveling there and can give a first hand report? In Denver we are approaching a record cold June.

There was a major report a few years ago out of the Bureau for Atmospheric Research in Boulder that said that while most people believe that global warming simply means that the world would get warmer everywhere, in fact, it almost the reverse would be true. Actually there would be major regions where the temperature would be markedly higher and other areas lower. The average temperature would be increasing but so would the extremes. (Remember, we have to live the extremes to have an average.) And then these increasingly different temperatures would drive increasingly more severe storms since it is the temperature differential that drives the storms with warmer air holding more water. I think it coming to pass.

We were in Europe during the last major heat wave and it was miserable. Good luck.

Posted by
745 posts

Well, it was 59 degrees in Battle Ground, yesterday.
Jackets in June (good name for a rock and roll band).

Posted by
6951 posts

We were in Paris 2 weeks ago and it was rather uncomfortable--cold.
I feel for those in high heat situations because their air conditioning is generally not up to North America standards.

Posted by
3936 posts

We were in the south of France last year when temps were hitting 35C plus every day, and some readings from the car were upwards of 40C.

Saving grace - having a car with excellent AC, so when things got too hot, we could go right to the car and cool off, instead of waiting for/using hot public transportation. The other saving grace - sandals I could get wet without ruining them - I can't tell you how many times I stuck my feet into fountains in Aix, or the ice cold river running thru Isle sur la Sorgue and Fontaine del Vaucluse. And the dry heat was much more bearable than if there had been humidity tossed in.

Also - lots of gelato, cold salads and slushies!

Posted by
804 posts

Our ladies are playing a World Cup soccer match today in the heat. US v France: should be an exciting match. Hoping they all stay hydrated.

Posted by
5728 posts

I am near La Rochelle on the west coast. Yesterday was 35 degrees and it was still 28 degrees at midnight. Today was misty first thing and it’s been grey all day, with drizzle threatening and it’s currently 21 degrees - not the sunny 28 that was predicted.

Posted by
21876 posts

That is nearly 115F. That is unbelievable. It doesn't get that hot in our deserts. I think Phoenix, AZ, will flirt with temperatures like that but still rare.

Posted by
5794 posts

World Cup: Hope the American women are more acclimatized to the heat than the French women.

Posted by
5648 posts

World Cup: they're saying the athletes' warm-up time is being restricted so no one overdoes it. "Warm-up" -- ironic term.

In Provence, they may have to put even a second ice cube in a glass of Muscat Beaumes de Venise.

Posted by
4229 posts

I have been near Salon de Provence since about 2pm and I confirm that the heat only compares to what I could experience in southern Spain or Arizona in the summer. Not quite 110, but over 105f. Wind feels like a hairdryer.

Posted by
21876 posts

Once we were in Paris about this time and had to buy jackets we were so unprepared for very cold weather. Those damn extremes will kill you.

Posted by
6734 posts

We were there for the heat wave of 2003 when it was 105 several days running. The week before we had been going out in the evenings in a polartek cardigan as it was so chilly.

Posted by
7719 posts

At the France-US match tonight in Paris, apparently FIFA has also decreed no breaks for recuperating from the heat. !!!

Posted by
9930 posts

Oh my word....115! I thought I would perish in Paris a few years ago in August when it was 95. Simply too much for me.

Yesterday here in the N. Idaho Panhandle I started out for a walk with long sleeves, a fleece vest and Smartwool glove liners.

Posted by
8436 posts

Bad enough to live in that heat but being a tourist in it is brutal. Been in Europe many times when it’s 90 and above. Most notably 2003 in Paris (like janet). It was 103 or more for a week when 12-15,000 Parisians died from the heat. All we could do was walk 2-3 blocks, sit at a café, walk 2-3 blocks, sit at another café, and so on. Couldn’t do more than that. We went to Rouen one day to get away from it (pre smartphone days so no good info on temps) and it was worse in Rouen, with the added bonus of very muggy. Plus a problem with the trains to get back - had to wait 2 hrs past the scheduled departure time. Not fond memories. I also got food poisoning from the café on rue Cler - no, not our best trip. First time in my life i can say i’m glad i’m not there now. I hope everyone that is gets through it comfortably enough.

Posted by
1979 posts

I can't imagine what it would be like in the un-air conditioned apartment we stayed at last summer. Wow! Or the many hotels without AC.

Posted by
7719 posts

Well, let me tell you how it is in my un air-conditioned apartment . . .

Posted by
23 posts

We just finished a six day self-guided Loire bike tour and ended up taking a train part of Wednesday and all of Thursday because it was just too HOT. Today we went to retrieve our bags from Saumur and it was 40 deg. C.(!)

Chenonceau had misters set up on Wednesday and many miserable visitors took long soaks. There were a lot of over-heated folks in Chambord today too. I felt really bad for a lot of seniors who were just completely knackered.

Just a reminder to everyone to slow down, drink lots of water, find shade and try not to be too goal-oriented. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a reality.

It is starting to cool a bit now in Blois. Our hotel room fan is going full blast and it's steamy but we'll be OK. Tomorrow, it's on to Chanonix! Happy and safe travels, everyone!

We spent the week looking at lavender fields and the spectacular gorges du Verdon and thankfully had an air-conditioned hotel room. Today, we headed back home.

The temperature was around 28℃ when we left the Haute Provence at around 10 AM, rose to 31℃ as we entered the mountains south of Grenoble, dropped to 28.5℃ when we stopped for lunch a little after noon because we had gone up in elevation, and then rose to 35.5℃ as we descended and entered the Lyon metroplex. Temperatures were fairly steady through the Monts du Beaujolais, but increased to 37℃ in southern Burgundy. I was surprised to watch the temperature increase from 37℃ to 38℃ when we exited off the N highway and entered the little town where our home is. That increase occurred over a short distance of less than 3 km.

All temperatures mentioned are off of our car's external thermometer, which experience has taught me is pretty darn accurate after 3 to 5 minutes of exposure. Far more accurate than the temperature displays at pharmacies many websites are depicting.

Posted by
996 posts

I know it's not relevant to this forum, but sometimes I wish there was a place where locals could discuss what is/isn't normal for them weather wise.

I have been reading about the record high temperatures in Europe and thanking my lucky stars that we planned our trip earlier in May instead of during the actual summer months. Regardless of whether an area has a lot of central air installed, that kind of heat takes its toll on bodies. I feel for everyone - resident or tourist - experiencing this kind of heat right now. I hate to think what it's doing to local crops, not to mention the grapes.

Posted by
21876 posts

And the ladies did it. 2-1. Some thought this could be their toughest match. Well done -- on to -- I think -- Great Britain. Getting closer.

PS. Barbara -- are you suggesting that climate charge, global warming or whatever you want to call it is fake news??

Posted by
5794 posts

World Cup: Report says that temperature drop to 87 degrees at kickoff. Rapinoe stayed hot.

Posted by
532 posts

I am reading reports about the record heat and feeling envious I am not there! I love the heat and really don't get warm until it gets 85 degrees or above. We are heading to France in late August and I am worried that the temps are going to be too cold if they are in 80s!

Posted by
13026 posts

Yes, I've been in Europe in the summer when it was in the 90s, in Vienna, Germany, and France. I don't believe I saw the temp at 38C though.

Posted by
7719 posts

I feel bad for the workers in construction and public works, and the tourists (and, since kids are still in school here, the students and teachers!). Me, I can stay inside and lay low in front of the fan. The most unpleasant part of my day is my metro ride to and from work, and I am on one of the better lines as far as not being a boiling tin of sardines. Someone who is only here for a few days will really feel compelled to be out and about to see what they came to see.

Posted by
1236 posts

I read an article recently which stated that Europeans are starting to put a/c in their house and apartments. Before, it wasn't seen as a necessity but with the extreme weather more people are demanding it. Which of course puts further strain on the power plants. Even in America, DC has gone from 3 heatwaves to 5 heatwaves a year in the last twenty years.

Climate change is not just global warming but extreme weather.

Posted by
47 posts

We are staying outside of L'Isle Sur La Sorgue and I can confirm that it was 109 here yesterday. I also can confirm that 109 feels a LOT hotter than 101 or 102. The mornings are relatively ok as long as you stay in the shade - there is very little humidity. Yesterday we through in the towel on doing anything, spent an hour in an air conditioned grocery story just looking at French grocery items and spent the rest of the day in our apartment with A/C - drinking good wine and watching soccer!

Posted by
5794 posts

Climate change is not just global warming but extreme weather.

PBS Newshour explanation: Its about changes to jetstream patterns.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/why-is-it-so-hot-in-europe

An extreme heat wave is gripping much of Europe, breaking records and
causing widespread misery.... While the heat is coming from
sub-Saharan Africa, some researchers say climate change is
exacerbating and prolonging it. They warn more record highs are
likely--and along with them, more deaths. William Brangham reports.

Michael Mann (atmospheric scientist at Penn State University):

This extreme heat is due to the fact we're seeing these really large
wiggles in the jet stream. The jet stream is slowing down, so these
high and low pressure systems get stuck in place.

And where you get one of these high pressure systems stuck in place,
like we saw last year in California, you get extreme heat, extreme
drought and wildfire for days or even weeks on end. We're seeing the
same thing happen this summer and in particular right now in Europe.

Posted by
13026 posts

Traveling in the past, say more than 30 years ago, AC did not exist on the trains. One just pulled the windows down in the compartment or the general seating area in local trains. I saw thermometers on the trains in Germany which at the time indicated the temperature above 30C, sometimes at 35C

Nowadays, AC does exist in the ICE and one can expect that, unless it's your luck that the ICE you're riding has its AC system out of order...I had that happened a couple of years ago going back from Hamburg to Berlin on a day trip.

My Pension in Berlin and Munich has no AC, in Munich sometimes a fan on the desk in the room. In Berlin there is no fan in your room.

Posted by
512 posts

I've heard reports that French, especially in the south, are now increasingly putting in air conditioning. In Nice, where I have a place,it is regularly hot but for now has escaped the searing heat of the southern Rhone and western Provence areas where the all-time highs are being recorded (the sea and mountain modulate the temps in summer and winter). Even the newly opened tram has air conditioned underground station and cars. In many buildings, the air conditioning condenser is prohibited on the outside, street facing side of the building. This is particularly true in the old town. Thus AC or the ability to install it is a selling feature in the center, due to the high number of foreign buyers. I have AC outlet in every room. Although one could do without, having it allows one to close the windows at night against bugs and any street noise.

Posted by
776 posts

Putting in AC is not that easy. There are noise laws in places that prohibit the running of condensers after certain periods. French windows may have to be replaced in order to allow for venting of portable AC units which have the reputation of being ineffective anyway,. Condensers are not allowed at all on building fronts in some places. French windows do not allow for American style window air conditioners in situations where the condensers might not be a problem. The window with shutter arrangement makes it difficult to install screens which will be even a bigger problem as disease carrying mosquitoes move north with the heat. Dengue fever cases increasingly make the news in Paris papers. Central Paris is in a basin allowing for levels of pollution to increase greatly during canicules like this where there is little wind.

Lots of building design thinking has to be done.

Posted by
3936 posts

Our airbnb in Salon en Provence had a wall unit...I think they are called a mini-split. It was amazing. Kept the bedroom nice and cool. Obviously couldn't be put into an old stone building, but it was great in her house.

https://www.wayfair.ca/home-improvement/pdp/senville-9000-btu-energy-star-ductless-mini-split-air-conditioner-with-heater-and-remote-senv1013.html?piid=

They also put one in a store I used to work in when we suffered thru hot humid summers and 'they couldn't put in AC because the building was too old'. (1923 or something like that) After the store closed and was sold and made into smaller stores, they put in some of those wall mounted units up and it worked.

Oh Fred - we were on one of the faster trains from Salzburg to Munich and the car we were in the ac wasn't working - we lasted about 10 min before we finally went and sat up in the hallway for the rest of the ride. I don't know how people could stand it - had to have been about 30C in that car.

Posted by
8515 posts

At my SIL’s near Monaco, she had a unit put in the main room after the 2003 heat wave. They pierced the outside wall and put it in, no windows involved. BTW, all the French coast was sold out. She found one and the person to install it at a dealer in San Remo, Italy.

Posted by
4229 posts

These units are not easy to install if you have place with old windows that open towards the inside rather than slide, you end up needing a makeshift air blocking system around the exhaust tube. Of course you can change windows, but only if you own, and then it's expensive.

Posted by
8436 posts

I had ductless AC installed in my house, exactly like the one Nicole provided a link to. You need a professional to install it and it does require a condenser (just like the ones you see outside for duct AC). One ductless AC (you may need more than one depending on size of your house) here does cost about $5k to install. At least half what you’d pay to put duct AC in your house (cost is dependent on size of house of course).
A good quality one works as well as duct AC.

Ductless AC like Nicole linked to was invented by the Japanese. I do see a lot of them in Europe. The problem in a Paris apt though is that often the apartment association (owners) do not want a condenser on the outside - where it has to be.

Ductless AC is installed high up on a wall - does not use a window.

Posted by
13026 posts

@ Nicole P...Exactly. In the trains of yesteryear one could pull down the windows half way when it got so hot. The window drapes would be flapping around. I know what you're saying in terms of tolerating it.

Worse was when the sun was beaming direct at your coach with the temp above 30C. That part is a given. Given the 30 plus heat beaming in your coach nowadays, you can't open the windows , which obviously makes it more oppressive. Sitting on the floor or standing in the hallway is about the best you can do in that situation.

Posted by
31530 posts

Based on news reports, I believe most of Europe is suffering with the current heat wave although France seems to be getting the worst of it. Temperatures in some parts of Italy and Spain have also been up to about 36C. I suspect that more people will be considering A/C as I don't think this situation is going to get better.

Thankfully it's been somewhat cooler here for the past few weeks, with some rain. The rain is much needed as the snowpack was less-than-normal this year, and we're officially in "drought" conditions at the moment. The rain will also help to keep the fires down. We don't need a repeat of the past two years, with heavy smoke for weeks on end.

Posted by
5648 posts

We’re driving our friend from Nice, Estelle, later today from Fraser, Colorado (called at one time the “Icebox of the Nation,” until a legal dispute over the name with a town in Minnesota), where it was snowing this past week, to Denver, where it’s “only” in the upper 90’s (Fahrenheit), and she’s heading home to France this Tuesday. Maybe she’ll miss the USA, for the temperatures, if nothing else.

Posted by
8873 posts

Maybe she’ll miss the USA, for the temperatures, if nothing else.

Or the more prevalent and effective a/c

Posted by
350 posts

@Ken, here in La Rioja, Spain, we have been hitting 42-43C. It's kind of unusual as we are as hot or hotter then Andalucia.

Was going to go to the beach to cool down this weekend, and while the Cantabrica coast is cooling down, high 20sC, it is also cloudy and rainy.

Posted by
7719 posts

@Joe32f — yes the penguins are available but there are a few different reasons why someone might not buy one.

1) expensive
2) you have to vent it to the outside — either by leaving your French windows or doors agape a little bit (thereby letting in more hot air, which seems to defeat the purpose of the a/c unit) or by carving a hole in one of the window panes for the exhaust tube (most tubes to come with a plastic cover to plug up the hole in the non-summer months
3) neighbors don't appreciate the noise (and hot air) they spew out all night, so they might complain after your first night using one, so you might not even get to use it that much even if you have one
4) thinking of where to store it in the other 9 months of the year in one's tiny Parisian apartment.

At least those are factors for me and why I haven't bought one . . .

Posted by
13026 posts

I would say the most shocking time re the weather in the summer in France was in Toulon in 1997 with the temp at 90F and humidity at 90% or above. Given the heat, the sun, the latitude, the water , ie right on the shore of the Mediterranean, it was definitely a shock.

Until then I had never encountered such heat like that. Where I stayed obviously had no AC, only a fan, which reminded me of the types available at Walgreen's. In 1999 I was back there again, same month, same heat but I was a bit more used to it.

Posted by
5648 posts

Hi joe32f - actually, we don’t have (or need A/C in Fraser, Colorado - but Estelle slept with the windows and sliding patio door open - was thrilled by the fresh, cool/cold mountain air. No seafood to speak of, so there’s a trade-off, but A/C was never a consideration while she was here.