01 August 2006

C'est fini, l'été?

The temperature has dropped precipitously. And yes, we've had some precipitation too. Is summer over for 2006? Time will tell...

We had 66mm of rain in July. That's 2½ inches and about what we ought to expect, I guess. In April, May and June we had hardly any rain at all (59mm in all over those three months), and it's nice to see the grass turning green again. It was hot for all of July, with thunderstorms (hence the rain).

A picture of the back yard that I took five minutes ago

Today temperatures are back to normal: 60ºF in the morning, 75 in the afternoon. That's compared to a high of 95ºF (35ºC) last Wednesday, for example, and overnight lows in the low to mid-70s during the heat wave. Between July 1 and July 25, we had 17 days with a high temperature over 30ºC (that's 86ºF). We don't have air-conditioning in our house, needless to say.

It rained again early this morning, so August is starting out wet. Maybe it will be like August 2004, which was one of the rainiest Augusts in 50 years in France.

People I read on the Internet -- travelers planning to spend a few nights in Paris, Americans living in Paris and elsewhere in France -- talk constantly about air-conditioning. Almost no houses or apartments in France have AC. You don't need it here, really, despite the few hot days every summer.

Remember, Paris is farther north than Québec City or Seattle. Marseilles, in southern France, is farther north than Boston or Boise. Saint-Aignan is on the same lattitude as Seattle.

OK, the heat wave (with high humidity, which is very rare) lasted longer than usual this year. But during the summers of 2004 and 2005 we had hardly any extremely hot days at all.

The heat wave was good for the vegetable garden,
which is now producing far more than we can eat.

My advice: try to get a hotel room or apartment with AC if you are going to be in Paris between late June and early September. You probably won't need to use it, but if you do need it, it will be there for you. If you live in France, just learn put up with the few really hot days and warm nights. Remember how cold and damp the winters can be, and enjoy summer.


  1. My experience of summer in Paris is to get a room with operable windows and a good fan. Earplugs help too! Most of the AC I've experienced makes more noise than cool air.

  2. Peter, I agree with you. We often stay at an Ibis hotel and we have to turn the AC down as far as it will go if we want to feel it at all. The windows do open, so that is a better option.

  3. Ken, as you no doubt remember, it does get hot hot hot, and humid as well, here in the nc piedmont. 99 today, with a heat index of 110. the air is like soup, but we have ac, so we stay in. Good time to catch up on my blogging!

    Your yard is very nice, by the way. I love your grill.

  4. Susan, if the temperature hit 120ºF here, I think we would all expire. Even during the big heat wave of 2003, it never got above 100. The worst thing is when it is still 85 or 90 in the house at bedtime. We have a fan to stir the warm air around, but it doesn't help much.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?