Heat waves disrupting production of one of France's biggest exports
Tourist visiting Paris are doing their best to beat the Paris heatwave which which could bring record-breaking temperatures this week. Tourists took to the fountains in front of the Eiffel Tower to cool off on Tuesday, July 23.
France, along with a wide swath of Europe, is in the middle of a sweltering heat wave this week -- its second major heat wave so far this summer.
Much of Europe baked in late June when temperatures soared and broke all-time high records in numerous places.
"A severe heat wave, the second of 2019, has begun in western Europe, one that will potentially bring some all-time historical high temperatures," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.
In France, the heat wave began in earnest on Monday with highs at or above 90 degrees in Paris. Andrews said temperatures even topped 100 in parts of the south.
The heat waves in France are taking a toll on one of the country's most famous commodities: wine. According to France 24, the agriculture ministry announced last week that it estimates wine production for the year will decrease by 6 to 13 percent over last year's numbers.
Government officials are blaming the heat for the downturn in wine output.
All told, it could be winemakers' worst output in five years. Vineyards particularly in western France have been affected, as the heat disrupted the vines' flowering stage. It was just about three months ago that vineyard owners were dealing with frosty temperatures during the spring and lighting fires at night to keep the vines from freezing.
Grapes are pictured at the vines at the Philippe Gonet vineyard during the traditional Champagne wine harvest in Montgueux, France, August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo
France is among the top three wine producers in the world, along with Spain and Italy, according to France 24. Both of those countries are experiencing blistering temperatures as well during this latest heat wave.
Many high temperature records fell in France on Tuesday as the heat wave tightened its grip.
"The heat ratcheted further upward on Tuesday with 98-100 degrees Fahrenheit in Paris and widespread 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit in the west and south. Bordeaux reached 41.2 C (106 F), possibly setting an all-time high," Andrews said.
"Thursday, the heat wave has culminated with record-shattering highs in the northern half of France through Netherlands, Belgium and even far-western Germany," Andrews said. The hot weather in Paris had tourists swimming in the fountains at the Eiffel Tower to cool off. And it's only going to get hotter there before cooler air sweeps in.
With a high of 108.7 F (42.6 C), Paris broke its all-time high temperature record of 40.4 C (104.7 F) at Parc Montsouris, set more than 70 years ago.
"Friday, a cold front will cut off the heat in western areas, though a corridor through western Germany, eastern France and the Low Countries will get one more exceptionally hot day," Andrews said.
"Cooling demand may test the electrical grid, crops will be stressed and infrastructure may suffer (buckling of rails and pavements). Flights may be delayed owing to the loss of lift for takeoffs," Andrews said.
All of the heat in Europe this month along with a heat wave that gripped Alaska at the beginning of the month and the heat wave that sweltered a large swath of the U.S. last weekend has the Earth pacing toward its hottest July ever, according to a report by NBC News.
The current record for hottest July came in 2017. The average global temperatures that month were 2.16 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average of 57.8 degrees Fahrenheit for July -- which is already the planet's warmest month. Many climate scientists expect that record to fall when the final numbers are measured.
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