…plus c’est la même chose. As people in northern and western France prepare to batten down the hatches yet again tonight, it’s my sombre duty to bring you the weather stats for January. And independent corroboration from Météo France that it was indeed a rotten month by most measures – just in case you hadn’t noticed.
France as a whole
This is what Météo France reports.
The good news (or maybe not): with 1936 and 1988, January 2014 was the warmest January in France since 1900. The temperature averaged out across France was 2.7° C higher than normal.
The bad news: it was wet. On average throughout France rainfall was 40% higher than normal. In parts of the southeast, they had three times as much rain as in a normal January. As for sunshine hours, they were correspondingly low, especially in the north and – guess where – the southwest. Down here, we had 30-40% less than the average sunshine and don’t forget January is by nature pretty murky.
Our figures for SW France
My husband, the SF (Statistics Freak; so-called because of his obsession for recording everything) has kept stats about the weather down here for nearly 16 years.
Our first measure is a 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 January we had:
Pluses – 4
Zeros – 12
Minuses – 15
The chart shows the percentage of plus days each January for the past 16 years (the line is the trend). Only one January was worse than this one – January last year.
Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. This January 138.5 mm of rain fell compared to the average of 91.9 mm. It rained on 19 days as opposed to the 12 we would normally expect. Only one previous January has come close – 2009 with 137 mm. (Thanks to the SF who noticed I wrote 237 mm in a previous version. I need a proof reader.)
Lakes have appeared in the fields around here, complete with herons standing sentinel in the shallows. The mud is indescribable. In fact, the car got stuck in the mire this morning when I pulled off the road to let a grain lorry past that wasn’t taking prisoners: the driver had to come back and help us off.
Not surprisingly we had only two, which is unusually low. Although February has started out mild and looks likely to remain so for the next seven days, it is a notoriously cold month so that figure could rise.
I can’t think of anything to say that is publishable. In the market this morning, nobody could talk about anything but the weather. Yesterday, on a routine visit to the doctor, when I complained about it he started questioning me about what I do to keep active in winter. He even suggested we take a little trip down to Spain (now there’s an idea). Perhaps he’s had a lot of people in for depression.
It’s difficult to get out and take exercise when it’s like this. Walking is unpleasant in the rain and it’s horribly squelchy underfoot. So we haven’t been anywhere or done anything. That trip to Barcelona is looking increasingly appealing. I’ll just go and look up their weather…
Copyright © 2014 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved