The drought continues here in southwest France. Ten days ago we went for a walk where we normally have to cross a fast-flowing stream using stepping stones. This time it was completely dry. You could walk along the bed of the stream without getting your feet wet. I have never seen it like that in our 14 years here.
This time last year we had already had our first snowfall – on 27th November. This was unheard of and heralded a particularly unpleasant December when we were snowed in about three times. This year, the astonishing Indian summer has continued for much of November. It’s only in the past few days that persistent fog and cloud have reminded us what time of year it really is.
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 November
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 November, there were:
Pluses – 12
Zeros – 9
Minuses – 9
The chart shows the percentage of plus days each November for the past 14 years (the line is the trend). This is one of the better Novembers, with nine worse and four better.
Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. In November we had only 33.5 mm of rain compared with the average of 69.9 mm and it rained on 6 days against the average of 10.3.
Overall for the year, the rainfall deficit is significant and quite worrying. In total we’ve had only 70.6 % of the average.
The President of the local Syndicat des Eaux, which manages the local water supply and quality, told us that they are having to import 400 cubic metres of water per day from elsewhere for our commune’s needs.
We had no frost nights this November. My geraniums are still going strong and flowering away. Normally, the frost has blackened them early on in the month.
To finish, here are a couple of dictons (sayings).
Le vent de novembre arrache la dernière feuille – wind in November carries off the last of the leaves. [Not true – it was very windy at times this November but the leaves hang on. It’s the frost that takes them and we have had virtually no frost.]
Beaucoup de pluie en octobre, beaucoup de vent en décembre – a lot of rain in October means it will be windy in December. [We had very little rain in October so hopefully we can look forward to a still December. But no snow. PLEASE.]
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