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As Record Heat Roasts Europe, Paris Prepares for the Worst

The French capital is rolling out its new heat emergency procedures as Europe boils in a record-breaking heat wave.
Parisians cool off in the fountains of the Trocadero Gardens earlier this week
Parisians cool off in the fountains of the Trocadero Gardens earlier this weekCharles Platiau/Reuters

Over the past year, Paris has adopted a comprehensive emergency plan to respond to extreme heat events—part of a larger scheme to boost the city’s climate resilience. That plan may have come in the nick of time.

This week, the French capital, like much of Europe, is hot as hell. Beginning last weekend, a bubble of hot air has been drawn northward by winds from North Africa, and a large section of the continent, stretching from Gibraltar right up to the Baltic, is now broiling under a record-breakingly intense heat wave. Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic have recorded their highest ever temperatures for June, reaching 38.5 Celsius (101 Fahrenheit) on the German-Polish border. In Spain, wildfires have engulfed up to 10,000 acres of parched Catalonian farmland. And it’s getting worse: Temperatures in France this weekend may hit an unprecedented 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).