How cold is it really

I am an Australian working in Africa but with a small house in Trebes (near Carcassonne) which I just bought last last year but have only ever stayed in for a couple of weeks in October when the weather was lovely.

Not only am I an Aussie (and therefore not used to the cold - except for a few years in Tokyo but you tended to go from heated house to heated taxi to heated office) but I am sitting on the edge of the Congo river and it's mid 30s (celcius) so I have no real idea of the impact of this weather.

I have my little Igoogle monitor keeping track of the temperature in Carcassone which has been hovering just a bit above and below zero for the last few days /weeks. What does this actually mean - eg does the Canal or the river freeze over, is there snow on the ground, can you go out for a walk to the bar or is it just too cold. How unusual is the current weather

I know these are probably dumb questions but (apart from Tokyo) I have only ever seen snow twice in my life so have no idea of the real impact of this stuff. I know my purchase of the house caused the euro crisis but is the weather my fault as well ??

Wagga Steve

I have an Aussie mate who told me he'd never seen snow until he got to Europe and that was when he and his mate decided to drive --IN WINTER -- from Scandinavia to the Riviera. No special equipment of course. He didn't know it existed. He's still alive and kicking so it can't have done him too much harm! When he eventually got to the Riviera he had another major culture shock when he saw all these trees covered in yellow flowers. It hadn't occurred to him that wattles might grow somewhere else than Australia even if we do call them mimosas.

Another Aussie mate turned up to report on the Innsbruck winter Olympics way back when. It hadn't registered with his bosses at the AAP -- or with him for that matter -- that it might be a bit cold. So he came clad in a t-shirt and sneakers. His warmest bit of clothing was a jacket. But his worst memory was of me driving him up to the ski slopes along narrowish, twisty, ice- and snow-covered roads with the tail of the car twitching nervously at every bend.

Wow, Andrew! You have some memory! Yes, I do remember that conversation, and now I am very aware of said wind. Snow has been and almost gone. Hope you are keeping well wrapped up!

and to think you said a few months ago that you hadn't heard of the tramontane, just the marin, I did warn you Sheila...!

keep wrapped up warm, we're down to -12/-13 most nights here, no real snow but no wind either ;-)


Thanks for the feedback -

I take full responsibiloity for the euro ("Buy high - sell low" - this is not the first economy I've bought down, often just by thinking about investing there) but wasnt so sure about the weather.

Off to airport and back to beautiful downtown Luanda - have a good weekend


Hi Stephen.

We are about 30 minutes east of you, in a valley. Our nearest town is Fabrezan (Google maps will give you an idea). The weather here has been cold, dropping to -5 or -6 degrees C at night, and rarely creeping above zero during the day. That is not too bad for us (being Irish and used to cold and damp). Just wrap up warmly, several layers, and wear hat and gloves. The weather is sunny most days in the last 2 weeks, although we did have snow one day. The biggest problem will be the tramontagne - the wind is bitterly cold, so you have a windchill factor of -12 some days.

This weather is unusual for this part of the Languedoc, but not unheard of. A useful link, which also gives historical details of weather, is I have this set to my village of Lagrasse so just change it to Trebes.

Parts of the Canal du Midi are indeed frozen, but the weather is predicted (wonder how reliable that is?) next week, with temperatures not expected to fall below zero at night.

If you are intending visiting in the next couple of weeks, bring several jumpers and heavy trousers, and layer up when going outside. If you have a neighbour who can check your house for you, I'd recommend that. I'd also recommend reading this article by Catharine:

Take care. Sheila

Ha ha, short cold snaps are not unknown in and around Carcassonne, what is unusual, for most of southern France, is that it's been going on for a while now! you can still get around and do pretty much all your normal things, you just need a good pair of boots and plenty of layers on! driving is something else especially as most people aren't used to it and don't bother fitting winter tyres because it's not normally worth it around carcassonne - watch out if driving on snow in regions where it's unusual! as for the impact - some flamingos have died of hypothermia and others are being rounded up and taken to the camargue where it's slightly warmer, only slightly, and they're being nursed back to health.

and going back to the euro crisis and your purchase...!