The image above is of Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny in Normandy, inspiration for many of his paintings. We recently spent a night in the village of Giverny on our way up to the UK. Needless to say, I took a lot of shots and the garden was lovely, even though it was the end of September. Wish mine looked like that. More about Giverny in a later post.
In the meantime, here’s the verdict on summer 2014 in SW France. The weather statistics are the baby of my husband, known as the Statistics Freak (SF for short), owing to his penchant for recording anything and everything.
The SF says summer goes from the beginning of May to the end of September, i.e. five months. This is debatable, but I know better than to argue with him.
Overall, it was a pretty rotten summer, mitigated only by September, which was the best in 17 years here. 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. Here are the proportion of each over the period May to September, compared with the average in brackets.
Pluses – 58% (63%)
Zeros – 29% (23%)
Minuses – 13% (14%)
July and August were both among the worst we have had: gloomy, damp and cool. I felt sorry for holidaymakers who resolutely wore light summer clothes while the locals were wrapped up in jumpers and trousers.
So, thank goodness for September, which restored our faith in the weather in the south of France. (We missed half of it, having spent a week on Corsica and a week in the UK). September is frequently one of the best months of the year with settled, dry, warm weather. In September 2014, we had:
Pluses – 27
Zeros – 2
Minuses – 1
The chart below shows the percentage of plus days each September for the past 17 years (the line is the trend, which is going up). With a couple of exceptions, it shows September as being a relatively stable month.
Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004. September is historically a dry month: the average volume is 56.3 mm. This September was even dryer than that with 43.5 mm. And it rained on only 4 days; the average is 6.5 days.
Even with a dry September, the rainfall is still ahead of the average for the year to date: 716.5 mm compared to the 631.2 we would normally expect, i.e. 13.5% more than usual.
October started with beautiful weather, for which, fortunately, we arrived home in time. Alas, that changed today and the forecast for the next 10 days is variable. This makes September stand out even more as a beacon in a dismal run of weather.
To finish, I’ll leave you with another couple of pictures of Monet’s place. Watch this space for more.
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