Monthly Météo: Weather in SW France July 2012

Albizia blooms

Down here, the beginning of July was exceptionally cool, the end extremely hot. The latter, of course, gave rise to a violent storm on the night of the Olympic opening ceremony. It passed directly overhead, knocking out the transformer down the lane and part of our satellite Internet connection, among other things. I’ll say more about this in a separate post – I think thunder storms here are spectacular enough to merit one. Suffice it to say that it caused us massive inconvenience, from which we are only just emerging.

Every month I post an update on how the weather has been in our corner of southwest France, 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.

Weather assessment for July

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 July, there were:

Pluses – 23
Zeros – 5
Minuses – 3

These figures seem to belie the fact that the month started badly. The weather brightened up after the first week but remained cool for a further week. It’s only the last two weeks when temperatures were at seasonal norms.

The graph shows the percentage of plus days each July for the past 15 years (the line is the trend). Six months of July were better and eight worse so this July was about average.


Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. Rainfall this month was almost spot on the average at 40 mm against 39.8 mm. It rained on 7 days; the average is 6.6 (or, effectively, 7). We are still running at a bit of a deficit but the heavy rainfall in April made up a lot of it.

To finish, a weather dicton (saying):

Ne vous plaignez pas s’il tonne en juillet; car en ce mois s’il ne tonnait, guerre et famine il y aurait. Don’t complain if it thunders in July, since if it doesn’t, war and famine will follow.

I can’t say I agree. Thunder at the end of July was massively inconvenient to us personally. But I suppose if it averted worse afflictions we should be satisfied.

Albizia tree in full bloom

Copyright © 2012 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved


  1. I do find your weather stats interesting, even though they’re a different here. It’s so easy to forget how many good days we have and exaggerate the bad ones – a bit like a dodgy critique sticks in the mind far more readily than a good one.
    Our albizia is the same colour as yours and lovely this year. We brought it here in a pot seven years ago and this is the first year with luxuriant blossoms.
    Funnily enough I was thinking about doing a storm blog after a few nights ago when we had several circulating us all night long and some odd behaviour with the electricity. It’ll be interesting to compare our experiences.


    • Even within our area the weather is very localised. We now have about 15 years’ worth of stats, so there are some patterns emerging.

      Our albizia has never been so good as this year. We were afraid that the hard frost in Feb had done for it, but it has grown enormously and flowered prolifically this year. It’s in a sheltered spot, which must help.

      I’m working on a thunderstorm post. We have quite a lot of experience here…!


  2. July seems to have been cooler here than the last couple of years and I actually thought perhaps drier than usual, but thinking back, there were some wet days so that must have brought the average rainfall. August is starting the same. We keep having thunderstorms forecast but they never materialise. Somehow I don’t think we’ll keep getting away so lightly …


    • Down here, the first half was certainly cooled than avaerage but it got a lot hotter after that – hence the thunderstorms. August was a bit variable to start with but it’s forecast to be dry and hot for at least a week.


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