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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The weather on our trip

We thought other people planning trips in southern Europe might find it useful to have some idea what weather to expect. However, it is important to remember that the weather varies from year to year and the temperatures and conditions we experienced may not be typical.

In 2009 we were on mainland Europe for 254 days. Of these:
  • 197 were sunny or fine days (80%)
  • 23 days had some rain, either a thunderstorm or a light shower
  • 34 days were dominated by rain, either constant showers or very heavy rain for most of the day (13%).
Those 34 days of rain can be analysed further, as most of our rainy days were in particular areas or at particular times:
April - as we travelled down to Italy, we had some rainy days.
Early June - we had one rainy day in Italy on the Gargano peninsular
June - we had some thunderstorms around Lake Garda
Late June - we had some rainy days in the Dolomites
July - we had some rainy days and thundery days in the Slovenian mountains
August - we had a couple of rainy days in Austria and a day or so of rain in the Aosta valley in the Italian Alps
September - it rained while we were in Provence for a few days
December - Spain experienced the wettest December for 50 years and from 18/12/09 we had seven days of rain.

We could have avoided some of these rainy days if we hadn't chosen to be in the Dolomites or the Alps. However, we also had lots of fantastic weather in those places.

Other thoughts on the weather in 2009:
May - a lovely month to be in Italy
June - temperatures reached over 30C in Italy by mid June
October - the south of France became quite cold and it was noticeably warmer as soon as we travelled in to Spain
November - from what others told us the weather was unusually hot for this time of year in Spain. We were still wearing shorts and temperatures were over 20C.
December - until the rain started, the weather in southern Spain was around 17C and fine.

January - We had six days where it mostly rained and six days with a shower, the remaining 19 days were fine and sunny, temperatures were between 9C and 18C.
February - We had four days when it rained almost all day and ten days where we had a shower or two, but were still able to get out for a walk at some time, the remaining 14 days were fine, sunny and usually warm, around 15C. The general opinion with regulars has been that the weather is wetter than previous years.
March - We were moving gradually north. We had six days when it rained almost all day and six days when we had showers or rain some of the day. The remaining 19 days were fine, usually sunny and fairly warm, between 12 and 18C, although nights could be cold.

Generally, we feel we would prefer not to travel in our small van during the winter months again. Late spring, summer and early autumn were lovely, we could be outdoors most of the time, being active during the day, eating meals outside and enjoying the sunshine and we missed that in the winter.

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