27 December 2013

La météo du jour

Here's my periodic weather report. We're back in a rainy pattern for the next few days, but it's not cold. Today it's windy, but not nearly as windy as it was a few days ago, when a major storm went through.

Remember, France is about the size of Texas — 250,000 sq. mi. or so. That makes it five times as big as U.S. States like North Carolina, Illinois, and New York. It's not quite twice as big as California. By comparison, if you add up the areas of the states of NY, NJ, PA, MD, DE, VA, NC, and SC along the U.S. East Coast, it comes to 250,000 sq. mi. The shape is different, but that's how big France is in surface area. The combined states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois are similar in size. Sorry to be so nerdy.

Revenons en France. Big swirling low pressure centers keep moving in off the Atlantic Ocean. The center or "eye" of these storms passes well to the north, over Ireland, northern England, and Scotland, but bands of rain and wind extend far to the south and brush across France. Brittany, the western point of the country, often takes the brunt of such weather.

I added city names to this weather map so that you can get oriented. Paris is in the center-north part of France. You'll see the city of Tours 150 miles to the southwest, and Saint-Aignan is just 35 miles east of Tours.

As usual, you can click or tap on the images to see them at a larger size.

On the map above, you see that winds are at 80 kph over Brittany and Normandy. That's about 50 mph. Over the center of the country, including Paris and Tours (and Saint-Aignan), wind velocities are 70 kph, which is between 40 and 45 mph. With rain, that's not so pleasant.

To the right, you'll see this morning's low temperatures. Paris is at 6ºC, which is in the low 40s F. Tours is at 8ºC, which is closer to 50ºF. That's pretty warm for a low temperature in late December. Brittany is even warmer, because air is flowing in off the warm Gulf Stream ocean current. 12ºC is about 55ºF. Only in eastern France are temperatures approaching or going below the freezing point, which is 0ºC.

The weather isn't supposed to get much better in the afternoon today. Rain and strong gusty winds will continue to blow over the northwestern part of the country, especially over Brittany and Normandy. Toward Tours and the center of France, there will be less rain and slightly less violent winds, but we won't be doing much outside today — except walking the dog this morning and again late in the afternoon.

Temperatures will be falling from their morning lows out in Brittany. But pretty much over the whole country, temperatures will stay unseasonably mild. Notice the two 18s in the southwest, near the Pyrenees mountains. That's close to 65ºF. It'll be 15ºC, or 60ºF, in the southeast at Nice. That's nice for them.

Here in Saint-Aignan we'll have about the same high temperature as Paris, with 13ºC or the mid-50s F. That's pretty warm. The first winter we spent in Saint-Aignan, 11 years ago, we got snow at this time of year. It's hard to tell what to expect from year to year, because the weather is very variable.

The weather report in France is called la météo [lah-may-tay-OH]. We keep tabs on it very closely, because we are gardeners and dog walkers.

1 comment:

  1. Talking about la meteo is a favorite pastime in France and I get a kick out of it, particularly when there is nothing to say about the weather of SoCal. We need rain like crazy but if it rains more than 2 days in row, "some" will say : "enough with the rain already!!!". France used to be pretty temperate but the climate has changed so much, it is definitely different now.
    I know you like the 4 seasons. I guess the kitchen ceiling past the test wit the heavy rains and wind you had.


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