02 March 2018

Tired of weather

Aren't you tired of all the talk about the weather?  I know I am. But weather is what it's all been about for the past two weeks. That's how long I've been back from that surreal trip to North Carolina.

What we experienced this week was the frigid equivalent of a really intense thunderstorm episode. In the hot kind of storm, with thunder and lightning, the temperature outside builds and builds until it has nowhere else to go. Humidity levels rise. The skies explode, winds tear through, and rain pours down. Thunder booms. Lightning streaks across the sky. And then, 24 or 36 hours after it all began, everything returns to normal.

These photos show the scene yesterday morning. You couldn't call what came through a real snowstorm — it was just a fast-moving, climactic snow shower, ending the intense cold spell.

In the case of the storm we just had (the edge of the Emma system that has been pounding the British Isles), temperatures plunged brutally over the course of about two days. Then a warmer air mass moved in from the south, dropping snow on the Mediterranean coast in huge amounts, and bringing wet snow all the way north through France up to the Loire Valley, Paris, and Normandy. It was extreme, sudden, and fast. Now it's over. We're having more normal, relatively warm rain this morning. All the snow is gone. And my cough is much better, thank you.


  1. Very weird weather indeed. We had a low of -3C on Tuesday night (a big deal around here) and a dusting of snow Wednesday morning. It was 7C by Wednesday night, 10C yesterday and 14C today. We might hit 20C tomorrow.
    Meanwhile, the thunder last night made the house shudder. And the wind blew so hard it made the rain go up underneath the roof tiles, leading to drips during the night. That happens only with extreme wind from just the right angle, along with fire-hose level rain.

  2. Must have been terrible down there. We got down to -8C on our thermometer, which reads high, so I'm sure it was -10C out in the vineyard. But we haven't had hard rain, deep snow, or strong winds. Just the cold. I just saw a report on the news remembering that places like Toulouse had low temps of -15C for two weeks back in 1985. And that -30C was the low in Dunkerque back in the 1950s. It's windy here today, but not raining and not cold — near +10C.

  3. Bonjour Ken,

    J'espère que CHM va bien dans son coin en Virginie car si vous souffrez des effets de la tempête provenant de la Sibérie, rien ne va plus à Washington/VA .
    La preuve : Il vente trop fort et les arbres tombent comme des allumettes


    1. Thanks for that, N. I've been so focused on our colds and coughs, not to mention the extreme weather here, that I hadn't paid attention to what is happening in the U.S. I hope CHM will see your comment and chime in. Thanks for the link to the twitter feed.

  4. I wonder how this weather will impact the grapes?

    Here's an interesting article on the shift of cold weather away from the poles and toward rthe continent:


    Glad you are feeling better!

    1. There was a report on the French news a few days ago about a grape-grower in Burgundy who was happy with the frigid weather. The guys who work in the vines out behind our place are also happy that we finally had freezing temperatures this winter. The theory is that winter freezes keep the populations of undesirable insects and other small organisms in check, making for fewer pests in the warm months.

      I'll read that Guardian article.


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