The SF (Statistics Freak to the uninitiated) tells me that winter runs from November to February. Personally, I feel it’s longer than that, but it’s better not to argue with the expert. Even so, by the end of February, I am usually climbing the walls and longing for spring. This year is no exception.
At least it is going in the right direction. It’s less than a month until the clocks go forward and the cuckoo arrives. And a few signs of change are already in evidence. The daffodils will flower soon, we saw a violet on the lawn (only one and a bit bedraggled, but still…), the evenings are drawing out, the quality of the light is different and the sun has warmth, when it deigns to come out. The birds are more active and vocal, too. I have heard a blackbird singing several mornings running. Buds have appeared on the trees, still tightly furled, but ready to burst.
This month, I’ll provide a roundup for the winter months, November to February inclusive, as well as for February.
Subjective weather assessment
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.
From November to February, the proportion of each compared with the average is as follows:
Pluses – 28% (33% average)
Zeros – 29% (32% average)
Minuses – 43% (35% average)
This confirms my feeling that this winter, although not cold, was gloomier than usual. This is borne out by the rainfall stats (see below under Rainfall).
For February, the +/0/- stats are as follows:
Pluses – 10
Zeros – 7
Minuses – 11
This puts February 2015 into the better half of the league table, with 6 better and 10 worse. Although the last week of Feb was pretty dire, we have also had some pleasant sunny days. And it snowed a couple of times as well, although not heavily, so we’ve had just about every kind of weather. The graph shows the percentage of plus days each February for the past 17 years (the line is the trend).
Our rainfall stats go back to August 2004.
Over the winter months, we had a total of 302.5 mm, a bit less than the average of 307.1 mm. However, it rained more often – on 55 days compared to about 46 – reinforcing the sense that this was a gloomy winter. The mud in places is indescribable, but then this is la France profonde.
In February, which is traditionally a dry month, we had a little more rain than usual – 62.5 mm compared to the average of 57. It rained as frequently as we would expect – the average of 10 days.
Frost nights so far for the winter total 36, 16 of them in February. We can still get frost in March and the occasional frost in April.
March has started wet, but it might as well rain now rather than in the summer. Here’s a dicton (saying), of which French country people are so fond, about March.
En mars, quand le merle a sifflé, l’hiver s’en est allé In March, when the blackbird has sung, winter has gone.
That’s good news, since the blackbird had already started in February. Vivement le printemps!
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