No, not the big Climate Change (although I could go on and on about that as well) – the climate changes we endured when moving from South Africa to France. First of all, we moved at the end of February, which is actually very unwise, as one moves from summer to winter, in our case, from plus 30 to minus 10. And that in a day… It has gotten warmer (actually quite warm for a week or two) since then, but I’ve been saying over and over again that I am permanently stuck in a Cape Winter. Or it feels that way at least.
Here a climate diagramme from Cape Town, South Africa. I downloaded the climate data from the world weather information service of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Cape Town shows a climate pattern typical for a Mediterranean region – warm, dry summers, and temperate to cool, wet winters. Note that, as Cape Town is on the southern hemisphere, winter is during June, July and August. Rainfall is clearly seasonal, with the highest rainfall occuring in June. Temperatures are lowest during July.
And here the climate diagramme for Paris. Data also from the WMO site (see link above). Rainfall is equally distributed over the year, with not that much difference between the months. Temperatures peak in August, and are lowest in January.
Now for the hypothesis that I am stuck in a permanent Cape Winter. Well, yes, it can rain pretty much every time of the year. However, the amount of rain for every month is lower than for the 3 Cape winter months. And for the temperatures – well, at the moment it is still a bit warmer than during a Cape winter, but we will be dropping below 15 degrees maximum pretty soon again. So – for the summer in Paris, I was stuck in a warmer, drier Cape Winter, for autumn we will have to endure a colder, drier Cape winter. Needless to say that I am very thankful for central heating. Total annual rainfall, though, is considerably lower for Cape Town than for Paris (515mm vs 649.6mm).
And now for a temperate – temperate comparison. Winters in Paris are milder than those in Frankfurt – a sign of the maritime influence. Frankfurt is a tad further north than Paris, and about 650kms further east. Average minimum temperatures in Paris stay above 0 degrees, while in Frankfurt, they dip below freezing in January and February. Maximum summer temperatures are slightly higher in Frankfurt, and a bigger difference between minimum and maximum temperatures can be observed. Rainfall in Frankfurt is slightly lower than in Paris.
And another, ecologically important difference between the climates – in Paris and Frankfurt, rainfall peaks during the growing season, while in Cape Town, the growing season occurs after the winter rains. Which means that you hardly have to water your garden in Paris, while in Cape Town, daily watering is essential.