Monday, November 29, 2010

Cold Weather in November

To go to the start and the indices click here

The cold weather in November in the UK possibly may once again give rise to the opinion that it is so much warmer in France and it is not warranted for pensioners in France to receive the Winter Fuel Payment.
[note added December 10th 2010... On 9th December 8,000  people in vehicles were stranded in snow in the suburb of Paris called Vezily.  Large establishments and gyms were opened to shelter them overnight.]

[Note added December 18th - copied from France Meteo.]
Peut-il neiger sur les côtes méditerranéennes? Absolument. Contrairement aux idées reçues, la neige n'est pas rare en région méditerranéenne. On relève 25 épisodes majeurs sur 32 hivers (1970-71 à 2001-2002) avec une hauteur de neige au sol supérieure à 10 cm à basse altitude sur le Languedoc-Roussillon et Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. On a également enregistré des hauteurs de neige au sol supérieures à 50 cm à moins de 500 m d'altitude en 1970, 1981, 1986, 1992 et 2001.
La neige, souvent de type mouillée dans ces régions, peut ainsi paralyser ces départements peu acclimatés. Le mistral favorise de plus la formation de congères, catastrophiques pour le réseau routier.
  Part translation - Can it snow on the Mediterranean coast? Absolutely. Contrary to received ideas, snow is not rare.. There were 25 episodes in 32 winters (1970-71 to 2001-2002) with depths of snow above 10cm...  There were depths of snow above 50 cm below 500 metres in 1970,1981,1986,1992, and 2002.  
The soft snow can paralyse these departments less used to it. The mistral can cause snowdrifts catastrophic for the lorry routes.
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Facts:--
On November 29th 2010 in the area of Cahors it was about 2 degrees and the overnight temperature was minus 2.  Periods of cold and snow also occur in November in France.  Some of the figures below would be normal for December and January to February, but not for November. Near Cahors it is normally about minus 8 at nights just before Christmas. Below is a translation from  the French official Meteorology site.
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Episodes of snow at low altitudes  with  freezing temperatures are not exceptional in November, notably during the last ten days of the month.  They arrive often enough.

Exceptional winter episodes occurring in France in November in the last 30 years:


-- from 24th to  27th November 2005 : 15 cm of snow  at Grenoble and Maubeuge, 5 cm at Saint-Quentin (02) and 2 cm at Nantes (both November records). It was  minus 11°C at Grenoble on the 27th.
--  20th November 1999 : snow abundant in Provence. There was 23 cm at Montélimar, 15 cm at Aix-en-Provence, 23 cm at Orange.
--  November 1998 : Extreme cold occurred this month and made it the third coldest November since 1890. On the 23rd, it was minus14°C at Epinal, minus13°C at Nancy, minus12°C at Reims, minus10°C at Strasbourg, minus 8°C at Rouen. Some centimeters of snow covered the lower areas of  Lorraine to about 20 cms.
--  November 1996 : 20 cm at Besançon, 8cm at Auxerre, 95 cm at Bourg-Saint-Maurice (73).
--  November 1993 : The second coldest month of November since 1980. There was minus12°C at Clermont-Ferrand on the 23rd and a maximum of minus 4°C at Bourges on the 22nd.  An episode of snow and of freezing rain in the North : 7 cm fell at Dunkerque (record in November).
--  November 1988 : it snowed on the Côte d'Azur and also at Boulogne-sur-Mer (15cm) and at Touquand (10 cm). It was  minus 10°C at Mont-de-Marsan, minus 8°C at Toulouse and St-Nazaire, minus 7°C at Bordeaux.
--  end of November 1987 : snow to the North-East and on the Auvergne. 7 cm at Château-Chinon (58)on the 25th.
--  November 1985 : the coldest month of November ever recorded, practically no region was spared the snow. On the 24th 15 cm fell at Cherbourg, 12 cm at Strasbourg (record in November), 6 cm at Poitiers, 1 cm at Carcassonne and at Bordeaux.
--  end November 1982 : Snow periods in the Auvergne. 41 cm were measured  at Saint-Andienne (42) which was a record for the month of November.
-- fin November 1981 : Snowy period in the Auvergne, to the north of the Alps and up to the North-East giving 30 cm at Bourg- Saint- Maurice on the  30th  and some centimeters in the lower areas to the  North-East.

A comparison of the climate of Toulouse and London is viewable via the following link. It shows that Toulouse has slightly lower night-time temperatures in December and January, although day time winter temperatures are slightly higher.
click here to view.