Weather in southwest France: March 2010 update

This is the first in a series of updates which I will post every month, based on the weather statistics we have kept since 1998. To see the other posts please click on ‘Weather’ under the Topics tab in the right-hand sidebar.

The French talk about the weather as much as, if not more than, the Brits – perhaps not surprisingly, since the weather still dictates the rural community’s life.

The Statistics Freak, or SF, (aka my husband) has been collecting stats about our weather for the past 12 years.  I felt that other people ought to benefit from his mania. His stats include:

  1. Subjective assessment of each day’s weather (plus = good, minus = bad, zero = indifferent).  This might seem a bit hit and miss but over the years, it has proved a remarkably accurate way of recording the weather.  The SF now has loads of comparative information, which enables him to say how a particular month, or run of months, stacks up against its predecessors.
  2. Daily rainfall (or lack of it).  This is more scientific.  We have a rain gauge (or pluviometre).  Again, the stats he has built up over 6 years allow us to see if it’s getting rainier or drier (the former, interestingly – it rains less often but more copiously when it does rain).
  3. Number of nights of frost, i.e. white ground frost.

We don’t collect temperature stats, not having precise enough equipment.  And, of course, our stats only relate to a tiny corner of SW France, where the weather can be extremely localised.  However, it’s a reasonable guide to the sort of weather you can expect in this region of France.

March 2010

Pluses – 12; Zeros – 9; Minuses – 10

This makes this March the 3rd worst out of 12 Marches.  The graph shows the percentage of plus days each March for 12 years.  The line is the trend.  It shows that March is definitely getting less pleasant.

March 2010 compared with 11 previous Marches

Rainfall – it rained on 8 days (average for March = 12 days); there were 82.5mm of rain, slightly over the March average of 78.8mm.

Number of frost nights – 12

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

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About nessafrance

My husband and I moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I am fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs and enjoy seeking out the reality behind the myths. I run my own copywriting business and write short stories and the occasional novel in my spare time. My husband appears here as the SF, which stands for Statistics Freak, owing to his penchant for recording numbers about everything.
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