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