Weather in southwest France: August 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.

What’s the verdict on the weather this August? Well, as they mindlessly say on TV sports programmes, it was a month [game] of two halves. 

The first half of August was nothing to write home about. A bit chilly, not much sunshine but not a lot of rain either. The second half was much hotter, included our hottest day of the year last week (39ºC on Thursday) and was distinguished by the mounting onslaught of our least welcome summer visitors – the wasps (see my previous post here). 

Here are the details. 

1.     Weather assessment for August 

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 August, there were: 

Pluses – 20
Zeros – 7
Minuses – 4 

The graph shows the percentage of plus days each August for the past 13 years (the line is the trend). August had been improving, but this one is back on the average. Seven Augusts were better and five worse than this one. 

August 2010 compared with 12 previous


2.     August rainfall 

Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. This August was significantly drier than the average over this period with 41.5mm (average 67.9mm). It rained on 7 days compared with the average of 8.4 days for August. 

We can see that this summer has been drier even than last summer. The leaves are starting to turn and the trees are shedding them as they attempt to protect themselves against the drought. The soil has turned to dust in places. You can imagine how deserts start. However, there’s a long way to go before we get to the conditions of 2003, as shown in the photo below. 

Drought conditions, August 2003


Despite the daytime heat, there’s a definite autumnal tinge to the weather. The mornings are already chilly – only 8ºC on Tuesday – and the evenings are noticeably starting to draw in again. 

Finally a couple of dictons (sayings) about September: 

‘S’il pleut à la Saint-Gilles, ça dure jusqu’à Saint-Michel’ (if it rains at St Giles – 1st September- it will continue until St Michael – 29th September). 

And just a reminder that autumn is surely followed by winter: 

‘En septembre sois prudent, achète bois et vêtements’ (be prudent in September, buy wood and clothes). 

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


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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4 Responses to Weather in southwest France: August 2010 update

  1. Vanessa,

    I was just killing time surfing the web and came across your blog. I found it very interesting and informative. I have been to France three times and have enjoyed every aspect of French culture. I have been to Paris and it’s environs, to Normandy, the Loire Valley, the French Alps and the French Rivera. I have never been to southwest France. Could you give me some idea of the culture in that part of the country as well as the historical, cuisine, etc. Thanks for putting up a great blog.


    Kenneth Guerin


    • nessafrance says:

      Hi Kenneth,
      I’m glad you have enjoyed my blog and thank you for commenting.
      In case you don’t find your way back here, I’ve sent you an email with some information and suggestions for websites you might like to look at to find out more about southwest France.
      Best wishes,


  2. Stephanie says:

    That’s really interesting. I thought it was a bit of a bad August this year. Let’s see what September brings – oh, and we bought our wood yesterday! Just the winter boots and coats to sort out now …
    Happy blogging,


    • nessafrance says:

      We’re just waiting for our wood to be delivered, which we ordered several months ago. We have bought a lot this year, hoping that this will stave off another bad winter. But if it doesn’t, at least we’ll have plenty to be going on with.


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