Weather in Southwest France July 2013

Felix takes a cool nap

Felix takes a cool nap

Right up to the end of June, we wondered why we had a swimming pool. For the past five weeks, we have been very glad to have one. It was as if someone had flicked a switch on 1st July and we entered a parallel universe where the sun shines. Whereas in June we were lighting the wood-burner on some evenings, in July we were putting bottles of red wine in the fridge to prevent the wine being the temperature of bathwater. Felix the cat (above) goes to ingenious lengths to keep cool but he draws the line at swimming.

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 July

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 July, we had:

Pluses – 26
Zeros – 4
Minuses – 1

The graph shows the percentage of plus days each July for the past 16 years (the line is the trend). This puts July 2013 on a par with the best. The others were in 2006 and 2009. Surprisingly, July 2003, which was stiflingly hot, was not quite as consistent, it seems.

Percentage of pluses in July

Percentage of pluses in July

We don’t have equipment that is sufficiently high-tech to record the temperatures but on many days it was too hot to do anything after about 11 am; into the upper thirties Celsius. Not that we’re complaining – not after the frightful winter and spring we endured. But it’s uncomfortable for elderly people or those who have to work in the heat: a stonemason we know ended up in bed with heatstroke. We went to a concert at Aujols (Lot), featuring the Fejes String Quartet (excellent). By the end of the encore, the male violinist and viola players’ shirts were wringing wet.

Aujols concerts

Aujols concerts

Rainfall

Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. Along with hot weather goes thunder and we had several storms of varying intensity in July. This accounts for the volume of rain: 83 mm against the average for July of 44.6 mm. On one occasion, we had 31 mm in half an hour and, because of the wind direction, it was coming through parts of the roof. This year, the actual rainfall is still well ahead of the average – 662 mm compared with 501.8 – so it seems that drought is unlikely.

Rainfall 2013 to date

Rainfall 2013 to date

After about the 15th August, it’s unusual for really hot weather to continue, although there have been exceptions. Hence the following dicton (proverb):

A la mi-août, l’hiver se noue. In mid-August, winter starts taking shape.

I’ll leave you with a shot of a co-resident of our house: one of the many sparrows who nest in holes in the walls. This one was particularly noisy and I managed to get him in full voice.

Co-resident sparrow

Co-resident sparrow

Copyright © 2013 Life on La Lune, 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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17 Responses to Weather in Southwest France July 2013

  1. Sue Whatmough says:

    It’s always interesting to see what the weather is actually doing. Our courtyard on the hill can be a suntrap or a shady spot with a cool breeze flowing through. Here, we seem to have had it cooler, max around 30˚. Adore the Felix pic!

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      July and August were rather better than the average and, according to France Météo, sunshine hours were at a record level during those months this year. Just as well, since they must have been at a record low from January to June.

      Like

  2. amelie88 says:

    Our dog also likes to sleep in the bathroom when it is hot out and we did have a heat wave beginning of July (it’s been cooler this week). The tiles on the bathroom floor are nice and cool and provide relief against the heat (which is why I imagine Felix is taking a nap in the sink!). Since we have central AC in our house due to our humid, muggy summers, we’ll also find him napping on top of the vents in our family room when it is turned on.

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      Our cat has suffered a bit during the hot weather. He likes to flop down on our tiled kitchen floor, which provides some relief. However, it’s much cooler this morning, after a massive thunderstorm and he is back to patrolling his territory and feeling much happier.

      Like

  3. Evelyn says:

    Isn’t it nice to finally have a month with more pluses than minuses?? Love the photo of your cat!

    Like

  4. autumnmiss says:

    its been the same in UK. The warmest summer we have had for many a year, shame i hate warm weather though ;-O

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      The past few summers in the UK have been terrible, as I understand. Pity you hate warm weather – I love it, especially after the awful winter and spring we had here.

      Like

  5. Oops! Sorry … just up and thought I’d forwarded this to my husband, but it’s now up as a comment back to you:( Tis a bit too early in the day for me! … anyway, we’ve been sweltering in Tuscany and talking about what it might have been like in SW France if we had only managed to sell our house. Your weather reports are very good and I thought R would enjoy this. The pattern is not unlike here in Tuscany, although I think we are generally hotter and maybe more stable once summer sets in. Amyway, now I know how to make a quick comment … just by forwarding your post back to you!
    Love the cat:)

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      I did wonder about the comment below! The weather was pretty settled – apart from the odd thunderstorm – throughout July. We have had some terrible Julies, though, such as two years ago when it did nothing but rain.

      Like

  6. lizgyooll says:

    You might find this one interesting … Lx

    Like

  7. I’d love to have co-residents like your sparrow, unfortunately with a new house there are no holes in the walls:(

    Like

  8. Love that picture! We were very grateful for the pool even though it was hardly cooler than the outside air, usually about 30° which is the wrong side of refreshiing.

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      Our pool went up to 33C, which is a bit like getting into a bath. The best time to use it was in the evening just before going to bed, when it cools you down nicely.

      Like

  9. pfornari says:

    Gorgeous photo of Felix, Vanessa! I am certainly enjoying the sweltering heat in Brussels – dry, blue skies, just lovely…but it must be hard on some folk…

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      I can’t imagine Felix found it very comfortable in the basin but cats usually know what they’re doing. It’s forecast to be a little cooler from mid-week, which I don’t mind since it enables us to get out and do some chores that we have neglected because of the heat.

      Like

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