Weather in southwest France: June 2010 update

Every month I post an update on how the weather has been, based on the statistics we have kept since 1998. To see the other weather posts, please click on ‘Weather’ under the Topics tab in the right-hand sidebar.

So was this the worst June in southwest France in 12 years? By a hair’s breadth… …no. But it was a close run thing.

Up till 10 days ago, we were afraid this would be the most miserable June on (our) record to add insult to the injury of a rotten winter and a dismal spring, except for April. See my post Flaming June which describes the full horror. On 20th June, the sun started to come out again and, although it was still a bit chilly for a couple of days, it all went in the right direction from that point.

Here are 10 signs that summer might now have arrived – not all good; il y a du bon et du mauvais, as they say here:

  • We have had to start watering the garden again.
  • The swimming pool was 31ºC today.
  • It’s too hot to eat in the sun, so we have decamped to our stone table under the hazel tree.
  • The day’s agenda is reversed. Gardening is done in the early morning or evening; previously you had to wait for the afternoon for it to warm up.
  • We are wearing shorts and t-shirts instead of jeans and jumpers.
  • We had to wear hats to protect us from the sun on a walk yesterday.
  • The cat is slumped under a bush all day and emerges only to eat.
  • We never see the TV news because we eat later and stay outdoors.
  • Squadrons of mosquitoes have resumed their nightly sorties, with me as the target.
  • We have to start the car air conditioning five minutes before we go out.

Here are the figures.

1.     Weather assessment for June:

A quick reminder of our subjective weather assessment: we assign each day a plus if it’s fine, a minus if it’s bad and a zero if it’s indifferent or we can’t decide. In June, there were:

Pluses – 14

Zeros – 5

Minuses – 11

The graph shows the percentage of plus days each June for the past 12 years (the line is the trend). June 2007 had the fewest pluses; June 2008 and June 2010 had the next fewest.

Percentage of pluses in June over 13 years

2.     Rainfall

Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. This June was wetter than the average over this period with 91.5mm (average 62mm). It rained on 11 days compared with the average of 8.8 days for June.

Finally, I found on the Internet some traditional French country wisdom about the signs that presage the persistence of fine weather:

Du brouillard se forme juste avant l’aube (mist forms just before dawn).

De petits cumulus apparaissent en fin de matinée (small white clouds appear in late morning).

Les oiseaux (notamment les hirondelles) volent haut (the birds – notably the swallows – fly high).

Les araignées tissent leur toile (the spiders spin their webs).

Les coccinelles sont nombreuses (the ladybirds are numerous).

I hope these signs will be in abundance over the next couple of months.

Copyright © 2010 A writer’s lot in France, all rights reserved

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