Ouveillan, Aude, Languedoc : weather and climate during the year in a typical village in the South of France

Ouveillan is a pretty village, 17 kms from Narbonne, and 25 kms from Beziers, surrounded by vineyards, perched on a small hill. At its center is the beautiful church of St Jean dating from the 11th Century. The village was almost totally destroyed by the Black Prince in 1355. To the south amidst vineyards in the direction of Cuxac d'Aude, is the Grange of Fontcalvy, originally run by the Hospitaliers de St Jean de Jerusalem before being taken over by the Abbey of Fontfroide. Recently it is the background of Son et Lumiere, concerts, theater events, promoting the history and culture of the region. Wine is exceptional here - either at the Cave Cooperative, or Gleize, Lalaurie, are well worth tasting and buying.

JANUARY A third of the days have sunshine all day. The same number will have none at all. Temperatures, are mostly below 15° C, none under 5° C. Some days, warmer, even over 20° C, none under 5° C. Nights, colder, a quarter of them below 5° C, with a few frosts. Not a particularly windy/rainy month. Snow uncommon.

FEBRUARY More sunshine than in January. Only a quarter of days with none. Temperatures are higher too, most in the range of 15° - 25° C. Most nights are over 5° C with very few frosts. Less windy and rainy. Snow rare.

MARCH The improvement is maintained. Half the days have sunshine all day. Only a fifth of day temperatures are under 15° C, half over 25° C. Very few days, under 10° C. Nights, less cold, very few frosts. Some wind, less rain.

APRIL A mixed month, but winter is over and temperatures are higher. No days are under 10° C and many are in the 20° - 30° C range. It remains windy and rainy.

MAY We hope to swim by mid month. There is more sunshine, temperatures rise with some really hot days. Nights are noticeably warmer. Rainfall, the same, less wind.

JUNE Summer has arrived. Three quarters of days are over 25° C with sunshine all days for half of them. Nights under 15° C are rare. Still windy, rain less likely.

JULY A good month, difficult to separate from August, but the French, who holiday in droves from mid July to mid August have probably got it right! Three quarters of days have temperatures over 30° C with plentiful sunshine. Nights can be too warm. It is still liable to be windy. Most days are dry. A few thunderstorms.

AUGUST Difficult to distinguish from July. The weather seems to go off towards the end of the month. There are probably more thunderstorms than July. It's still very hot, often over 30° C, with the occasional 35°+ C. Night still warm.

SEPTEMBER Early September is often just a continuation of August, but the month overall shows differences. Only a third of the days are over 30° C, less than half have sunshine all day, but there is plenty and it is rare for day temperatures to be below 15° C. Nights are above 10° C. Winds and rainfall light. Some thunderstorms.

OCTOBER The amount of sunshine is roughly the same as in September but the temperatures are falling. Only 10% of the days are over 30° C. The biggest group lies around 25° C. At night 20 % are under 10° C but rarely less than 5° C. Wind and rain as in previous months. Thunderstorms still likely.

NOVEMBER Still sunny, but there is winter in the air. On average only 3 days a month have temperatures above 25° C. Most are between 10° - 20° C with some less than 5° C. Frosts are rare. Wind and rainfall as in October. Rare snow.

DECEMBER Noticeably less sunny than November, otherwise weather is roughly the same. Temperatures rarely reach 25° C and are mostly between 5° - 15° C. Nights are colder and night frosts, although rare, more frequent. Not a bad month. Snow rare!
Ave. daily C° 15 16 19 20 24 27 31 31 27 23 18 15
Ave. night C° 6 6 9 11 15 18 20 20 17 13 9 5
Range C° -5 to 25 -5 to 25 0 to 30 0 to 30 5 to 35 10 to 35 10 to 35 10 to 35 10 to 35 0 to 35 -5 to 30 -5 to 25
Sunshine % 66% 77% 78% 74% 76% 80% 92% 87% 75% 71% 69% 63%

© Dr Eric Mitchell 2000 (taken from daily weather measurements from 1992-2000 at his home in Ouveillan)
This is written by my father, who died a few years ago, who had retired to France from working in public health for the NHS in Nottingham and the City of London.

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