Monthly Météo: Weather in SW France October 2012

Autumn colours

The SF has been beside himself because I am so late posting the weather post this month. My excuse is that I am writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to the initiated), in which you take part in the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel during November. I’m not explaining this to impress anyone but a) to indicate that posts this month might be a bit sporadic; and b) to give me an incentive to finish the thing by telling everyone.

And so to October’s weather. Since we are a third of the way through November already, I’m having some difficulty remembering October. But the SF’s weather stats come to the rescue.

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 October

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 October we had:

Pluses – 14
Zeros – 6
Minuses – 11

The graph shows the percentage of plus days each October for the past 15 years (the line is the trend). Although October has generally been improving, this year’s was disappointing. Only two have been worse over that period. Very strong southerly winds for about four days caused a lot of damage in the region mid-month. We also had a very cold spell towards the end of the month with sub-zero temperatures in the morning.

Proportion of pluses by year


Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. Despite the disappointing number of fine days we still had less than the average rainfall in the month (59 mm as opposed to 73.2 mm) but it rained more often than usual (11 days instead of about 9).

We are still running at a deficit for the year – 610 mm against an average of 677.4 mm (about 90% of what we should have had).

Frost nights

As I mentioned above, the frosts have started again and we had three frost nights in October, which is roughly what we would expect.

Although very variable so far, November is unseasonably warm and looks set to continue that way for a while. However, this is not considered a good thing if the French dictons (sayings) are anything to go by:

Chaleur de novembre nuit fort et provoque de bien des gens la mort (Warmth in November is very harmful and sees many people off.)

In my experience, a warm November is often the harbinger of a bitterly cold December, which might explain this dicton. At least we have plenty of wood in store.

Copyright © 2012 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved


  1. I contemplated doing the less arduous non-fiction writing month challenge in November but events in October put paid to that, so maybe next year. October was definitely warmer than usual here and quite wet, which we needed after the long, dry summer. Time to keep proper records …


    • It’s too mild here and still very dry. But we’re told that it will get colder at the end of next week. This is not unusual – a mild November followed by a cold December.


  2. It’s always fascinating to read your stats and compare them to our own. I think October was pretty similar here. Also it’s interesting to see what climate change is up to. Keep warm.


    • It’s been very mild this week – a bit too mild – so no need to keep warm yet. But two years ago we had 10 cm of snow at the end of Nov! So it can change fast. You probably get more snow than we do. Interestingly, some months, e.g. March, are getting worse. I’ll have to get the SF do to an analysis of this.


  3. I am so impressed by your weather stats…and they seem to support the global warming trends…
    Good luck with nano – I am filled with admiration!


    • I am just the medium; it’s Per who is the statistician. But, as you say, it does seem to indicate a change in the climate. As for NaNo, I’m just blindly plugging on in the hope that I’ll get there.


  4. Ah NaNoWriMo! I always think I’m going to participate every year and then November arrives and by the time I remember, the month has already started. It’s also No Shave November, where men take a pledge not to shave the entire month of November. I’m sure there are more themes/challenges for November but those are the two I know.

    And I think I commented on your last weather post about hurricanes… seems I spoke too soon. As you can see, we did get hit by a hurricane, one of the worst to hit New Jersey/New York coastal area in living memory. In 10 days, we went from a “superstorm”/hurricane to a nor’easter (an American term for a snowstorm). We were without power for 11 days–actually we only got it back today. Definitely never taking my electricity for granted ever again!! And some people still don’t have power. It’s been pretty bad.


    • I was determined to do NaNo this year, although I was nowhere near ready enough. However, I’m almost halfway there and you just have to keep going and not look back.

      Poor you – being without electricity for 11 days is no fun. As you say, we take it so much for granted. I hope you’ll soon be fully back to normal. There is no doubt that the climate is getting more extreme.


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