Sunflowers in November

A rare sight in November

A rare sight in November

There’s a French expression, “C’est un vrai temps de Toussaint” (it’s real All Saints’ Day weather). This means that the weather on November 1st is cold, damp, murky and unpleasant. And it often is. This year bucked the trend and we ate Sunday lunch outside in the sunshine with friends at Toussaint. It was almost too hot. Above are the sunflowers they brought us from Saint-Antonin market – a rare sight in November, when they have usually been blackened by frost.

A nice match for our kitchen tablecloth

A nice match for our kitchen tablecloth

This November was remarkably sunny and warm, with the exception of a few cold spells. We often worked in the garden in shirtsleeves and even wore shorts on 15th November. My geraniums withstood the frost until last week and I’ve never seen them so resplendent at this time of year. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of them before they succumbed.

My husband, known as the Statistics Freak (SF) for his penchant for recording everything, has been keeping weather statistics for nearly 18 years. This includes a subjective assessment each day, to which we assign a plus if it’s fine, a minus if it’s bad and a zero if it’s indifferent or we can’t decide. He allocates hapless friends the task of doing this for us when we are away. The result is a complete record over almost two decades.

In November this year, we had:

Pluses – 13
Zeros – 8
Minuses – 9

This puts it in the top five Novembers, with only two better and two the same. The chart shows the proportion of plus days in November for the past 18 years. As you can see, the month is all over the place and, unfortunately, the trend is slightly downwards. But we have had some really foul Novembers, so to have a good one is a bonus.

Proportion of pluses in November over 18 years

Proportion of pluses in November over 18 years

We had five frost nights in November, which is pretty average, with the range being between none and 10.

Rainfall

The SF has been keeping rainfall stats since August 2004. This November we had 72 mm of rain, compared with an average of 80.4 mm. It rained on seven days; you would normally expect rain on 11 days in the month.

We’ve had a dry autumn and the total rainfall for the year (759.5 mm) is now about 97% of the average of 780.9 mm.

Rainfall 2015 to date

Rainfall 2015 to date

December has started dry and sunny with frosty mornings. I had to drive over to Najac this morning and the cloudless sky was cobalt blue. At one particularly high spot on the road, I even caught a glimpse of the Pyrénees, so clear and dry is the air at the moment. Yesterday, going in the other direction, we saw the snowy peaks of les Monts du Cantal clearly outlined on the horizon.

Whilst I hope it stays like this, the following dicton (saying) indicates that it might not be such a good thing:

Décembre trop beau, Eté dans l’eau. (If December’s too good, in summer you’ll have a flood.)

I will be happy just as long as we don’t get a lot of snow.

Najac in the mist

Najac in the mist

Copyright © 2015 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved

 

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Sunflowers in November

  1. Pingback: Bonne Année and December’s Weather | Life on La Lune

  2. Cro Magnon says:

    I can honestly say that I haven’t felt really cold yet this winter. We’ve had some frost but only just below zero temps. However, I’m not looking forward to Jan and Feb, when traditionally we get the real stuff.

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      Yes, it has been unusually mild. I’m normally climbing the walls by the end of Feb since that really is one of the darkest months, but at least it’s short.

      Like

  3. Monique says:

    Noel au balcon, Paques aux tisons.
    Monique

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      We’ve certainly had Noël au balcon on several occasions – and Pâques generally is aux tisons here! I don’t mind if it’s cold, but I really don’t want snow, because we always get snowed in.

      Like

  4. gillianbrown1 says:

    The photo of the sunflowers on your kitchen table looked like you’d had Van Gogh to visit! Beautiful. I too enjoyed the warm November but am back up in the snowy Alps now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. caroline says:

    Your SF reminds me so of my father… his speciality was measuring rainfall, because he had been a government water engineer and was very concerned about our water supply in this very dry climate on the tip of Africa, and advocated a rain tank for every house

    Like

    • nessafrance says:

      My husband measures anything and everything and has spreadsheets galore. The rainfall here fluctuates greatly – he keeps a rolling 12 month record as well, which shows that it can vary from 600 mm to over 1 metre over 12 months. In parts of Africa I’m sure that such fluctuations are critical. Water is already a scarce resource in places and will become even more so.

      Like

  6. MELewis says:

    No statistics-keeping on our end but we’ve certainly had a few typically ‘mossade’ days in November here in the Haute Savoie. It is my most-hated month and I for one am looking forward to a cold, snowy December!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      Last week was maussade here with a lot of fog that didn’t clear until late afternoon – typical winter anticyclone weather here. I am always glad once we get past the watershed of the winter solstice, just before Christmas. Even if the weather gets worse, which it usually does, at least the light is going in the right direction. I don’t mind if it’s really cold as long as it’s clear and bright. And no snow!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Osyth says:

    I’m away at the moment and won’t be back in France til just before Christmas. Your weather report makes me feel quite home-sick (particularly the glimpse of the Monts du Cantal, of course 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • nessafrance says:

      As you know, I’m very attached to the Cantal and seeing those snowy mountains in the distance made me pine for them. We haven’t been since Sept 2013, because of other commitments, but we are determined to visit next year.

      Liked by 1 person

I love to hear from my blog's readers, so please feel free to leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s