“Is France weather getting worse?” This was a search term someone used to land on my blog today. Given how dreary the weather has been since New Year, you could be forgiven for asking that. In fact, I almost didn’t do a weather post this month since I’m so disgusted with it. But the SF (Statistics Freak), who is in charge of our weather stats, is standing over me until I do.
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 January
This January gets the prize for the worst month we have had since we started keeping records. It snowed at least three times and we were snowed in twice. That wouldn’t be so bad if the rest of the month had been decent. But it was gloomy, damp and miserable. It wasn’t cold but I would rather it had been below zero but crisp and sunny.
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 January, we recorded:
Pluses – 2
Zeros – 8
Minuses – 21
The chart shows the percentage of plus days each January for the past 15 years (the line is the trend). The only month that comes close for lack of pluses is April 2012, which had only 3, while December 2009 and November 2010 each had 19 minuses.
Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. It rained a lot this January: 134 mm versus the average of 86.7 mm. It rained on 21 days; the average is about 12. It’s true that we need the rain and if it’s going to rain it might as well do it in the winter but it doesn’t do much for one’s mood.
Also, the most annoying of our local farmers has insisted on carting manure to a field beside our lane for the past fortnight. Because it’s been so wet, the field is now like the Somme from his tractor wheels, which drag huge quantities of muck and mud out onto the road. In fact, you can’t see that it is a proper road. You could grow potatoes in the wheel arches of our cars. I daresay he has as much right as we do to use the road but I’m not sure he has the right to leave it in such a state for other users.
We’ve had very few frost nights so far this winter. The total is 17 so far, with 4 in January. The winter total is normally somewhere over 50. This can still change, of course.
Here’s a dicton (saying) about February. The French are very fond of these:
Beau février c’est disette au grenier – nice February means a shortage in the granary.
I think the opposite should come true this year in that case, since the forecast up to mid-Feb is not good. I’ll just go and slit my wrists…
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