So.........this weather is getting a bit boring now?

Here in the north of the Charente Department we have been experiencing something of a cool and wet spring. I am sure this is the case across much of France and also across Europe. If I think back to my birthday in early November, the weather here was much better than it is now with lots of sunshine and the mercury hitting 25 degrees on a few days. The previous November (our first here) was also similar with very sunny weather and very warm temperatures for most of the month.

The spring has been pretty disappointing so far with plenty of cool, cloudy days or windy and wet days. We have had a smattering of sunny days but not many in a row, maybe two at the most.

How is the weather for people is other parts of France? Is this unusual or c'est normal? Seems there is no sign of a sustained spell of high pressure breaking out and some proper warmth.

Seems like we arrived here in Charente Maritime about the same time as you. There have been some lovely days but it's very disappointing compared to last year. Charente Maritime is famed for its micro climate....where?.....must be in a square kilometer we haven't yet visited...

Puisserguier, Herault, Languedoc. A "sizzler" today - shorts, Tshirt (and hat needed to protect my bald bonce from the hot sun). Geraniums, Strawberry and Chilli plants planted out. Phew.....!

Maybe it's the harbour at La Rochelle..the square kilometre you mention :)

Well....this is unexpected! The last thread I started garnered 9 pages of replies! I thought a thread about weather would be nailed on to get loads of replies from expats! We're Brits afterall..aren't we supposed to be obsessed with the weather?!!

Anyway another very dissapointing week of weather here in the Charente. Seems that spring warmth is reluctant to materialise this year. Dull and rainy (again!) as I type this. I'm starting to think SW France has as much of an unreliable a climate as parts of the UK! Oh well, next week looks better!! Let's see if we can manage a full week without rain!

"Let's see if we can manage a full week without rain!"

Let's hope so Paul. The grass is growing like its going out of fashion and needs another cut... only cut it a week ago!

you need to come further south, Paul ;-)

There is a micro-climate of sorts in the 17, but it's more a summer micro-climate giving great, almost med style summers but the rest of the time you can't stop those depressions rolling in from the Atlantic :-(

"You need to come further south, Paul"

Hi Andrew

That is what we are starting to think!! We have been toying with the idea of the Creuse as many people have told us it is very hilly, green and beautiful. However I am sure it must have a lot of rain and cloudy days given it's higher altitiude. We have yet to check it out but haven't ruled out anywhere yet. It appears difficult to find accurate information about local climate and microclimate for areas of France and also climate history for each Department or region?? I know some of the estate agents have stuff about the climate on their sites, but it tends to be "selective" in the information it provides.

Last summer here in the Charente was incredible, with lots of sun and crazy heat and the good weather lasted till November. In contrast, the last four months have been pretty dissapointing weather wise, with copious rain, wind and cloudy dull days. Totally different to the last winter. Our meadow has been so soggy underfoot we have not been able to get it cut! I guess we were not prepared for it being this wet and changeable for such a long period. Yes, it has been mild but we much prefer a cold and sunny winter and a more continental type climate. Who knows what will happen as our climate changes and weather becomes more volatile?

I think we believed we were moving somewhere (Charente) with a reliable year round climate, yet if the last 18 months is anything to go by, the weather here is anything but predictable! As you say we probably need to head further south and east!! Those atlantic depressions are not going away and are only going to get worse! At least we haven't had the horrendous weather they have experienced in parts of the UK, with all the flooding!

Boring? Well, yes, In the fact that it is almost always not what one would expect but it is unpredictable in the type of dullness, degree of wind, temperature, amount of rain and so on. Meteo France rarely seem to get their prediction right. Every day I receive the forecast about the weather to come on the following day and almost every day they are wrong. As Andrew and Paul say, it is the low rolling depressions from the Atlantic subject to mighty ocean opposing climatic and wind forces that cause the day to day changes. We are sixty miles from the sea but can smell the ozone clearly on still winter nights.

Might be worth having a look at the jetstream forecasts. In November and December the Jetstream was diverting north over the UK, leaving France bathed in warm weather a precious little precipitation. The UK got a soaking.;sess=

Useful site for those who are interested in a little more scientific detail

The weather in the Var is as usual for April. Warm with the vines busting out all over, the leaves back on the chêne blancs and the Morgan out of hibernation. The pottering around season has arrived. Everything very peaceful and bucolic.

I've been living to the West of Lyon for over 10 years and every year seems to be 'c'est pas comme d'habitude' weatherwise. Global warming is always the main culprit until we have a cold year, then, surprisingly, global warming doesn't seem to actually have much effect anymore according to several local weather experts! In fact it's just like the weather I've known since I can remember when I lived in England - some Winters are mild, some are cold: some Summers are wet, some are dry...The only place I've lived where there seems to be any regularity is the Var. Though down there, more than three days of rain in a row and it's a major catastrophy...and one of the most bizarre (and most refreshing) things that I found in the Var was that people hardly ever talked about the weather :)

Global warming is a bit of a myth, anyway, particularly the idea that any change in climate is the responsibility of humanty - clearly it isn't, as it has been going on for 4.5 billion years!

Sorry Chris but as a geologist I can't let that go, the evidence is too strong to deny that we are responsible, you are right that the climate over 4.5 billion years has changed for reasons other than humanity (carboniferous carbon dioxide levels much higher than now - lovely for all those trees that we are no burning as coal and bringing all that excess CO2 into our era millions of times faster than change back then. We can look at ice cores for the past half a million and see the extreme acceleration of change.

Still at least you accept that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, a step closer to reality than creationism at 4.5 thousand!

I don't believe a word of it (man-made climate change), I'm afraid, and have accessed so much information, and so many sites in a quest for the truth to keep me in reading matter for years. You know the sites to which I refer, no doubt, so there's little point in going through them all here. Suffice it to say, the warmers have failed to prove their case, and continually end up with failed predictions, fiddled statistics, and egg on their faces.

Its difficult to follow with all the water muddying the deny-ers have done. Its the same with most science - its not clearcut and its very easy to make an unsupported statement - I mean look at the anti-vaccination lobby, still recycling an article since withdrawn and the author totally discredited. But if you look at the quality of the information you are accessing, the answer is clear. Most denial sites are just recycling the same bad science. I've actually studied it, ice cores and all. And I'm afraid its undeniable unless you ignore the evidence. No egg on anyone's faces as far as I am aware. Proof in the way of predictions is folly anyway. Don't mix up weather with climate. Its all about trends and over the past 100,000 years its the past 5000 years of wood burning and the past 200 of fossil fuels that match the warming measurements.

Science doesn't know everything and its value is that it adjusts to new evidence but climate change is like a court case, there is just too much evidence to deny it. Go back to some of your sites and check their quality, are they real good research or just bad studies and recycled opinion?

Wouldn't it be stranger if we weren't having an effect?

Deniers, eh?

There are a wealth of websites available to all to peruse, should they have the time, and inclination, and then they can make up their own minds. Here are a few:

Well, the first link is full of people doing naughty things to others whe dare to deny climate change. And the 'fails' are mostly poorly thought out fear mongering by climate change "supporters" that turned out to be exagerations or just plain daft.

Not a jot of science. And don't get me started on conspiracy theories. Why would the climate science community majority make this up? And how long could they do so? No, the point is that evidence upon evidence and fact upon fact consistently points to the fact that humans are changing the atmosphere. What isn't sure is to what extent and how long it will take before its a disaster.

There's alot of examples supporting both sides- the congressmanwho took a snowball into congress from an unseasonal snowfall in Washington and the Iditarod sled race in the Yukon being cancelled because of the lack of snow! Its all weather, but how much unusual weather before we are all sure. Is it really worth denying and denying until its too late?

Personally I don't plan to give up cheap air flights. I have an eco car and lightbulbs because it saves me money. I have friends who only travel by train and are completely right on but I'd rather lobby big industry to make small changes that make a big difference, rely upon technology to eventually make alternative energies less, well, alternative. It foxes me what motivates deny-ers - can they all have pensions invested in BP?

Anyway the only deniers I am interested in now are if there are 20 of them (20 deniers - geddit?)

you really do need to keep up to speed.

the denier sites are claiming to debunk the Global Warming conspiracy, the rest of us moved on and discuss Climate Change.