After the Rains

photo, printemps department store, christmas lights The rains come down, deterring nobody.

You Expected Paradise?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 10. December:–  Just when we start to get used to the return of old–fashioned winter weather – gray, dark, rainy, windy, hyper–crummy – last night's forecast for the coming week – after a weekend storm battering western France with big winds and huge waves – dumping a lot of rain on Christmas shoppers on boulevard Haussmann – just when we are getting acclimatized, the sun pops out!

Bone–Chills Alert

It just goes to show that weather forecasting is a tricky devil, that forecasters are reckless gamblers and the weather is a high–stakes con game with incalculable odds. Of course it doesn't help that I grew up in a place where it can rain pretty steadily for months – once it starts I tend to believe it will go on forever. But Paris has been pretty mild and mellow these past years so I've kind of gotten used to drought in winter, sunny days in November and temperatures that you boil in, in your winter duds.

On Sunday evenings France–2 TV–news and weather presents a forecast for the whole week. It looked grim last night, for the whole week, and the odds for next weekend were given as 4 out of 5. I think the limit for Météo France is five days. Beyond that my guess is as good as theirs. So I guessed lots of rain might be right.

photo, printemps Accessory of choice – umbrellas.

Tonight's forecast had nothing much to do with last night's 7–day affair. Yes, it will be gray and raining east of Paris and at higher altitudes it will be snowing. Yes, there will be some 60 kph winds battering the Channel from the north. Yes, it will be chilly, with only 7 degrees forecast for the high. But aside for some clouds, it will be sunny around here. Overall I would say semi–sunny for Tuesday.

Then Wednesday, if you can believe it, is slated to be even more semi–sunny. All the bad stuff stays out east. In return we lose a degree of high temperature, with only 6 predicted. Thursday might be the most remarkable because it's supposed to be mostly sunny. Maybe some little wisps, high up. It might even be very bright, with a temperature right down there, about 4 degrees maximum. It'll be the kind of temperature skiiers like because it'll be an excuse to be sitting around drinking hot rum punches and telling lies about wonderful runs they had hors pistes.

Forecaster Météo Jim in the the Jerseys of the world across the western ocean has sent a new forecast. Other than critters he mentions the first snows, without details about that upstate blizzard around Rochester last week:–

photo, sign, xmas yellow light thing, monoprix

Wacky Wanda Time

As December shifts into high gear, so does the time of hibernation for certain creatures. One famous critter, who has been featured in these e–pages, is the Groundhog. However, nothing has been heard from him since he returned from his ill–fated voyage to the lands of Paris Plages. His whereabouts remain unconfirmed and there have been no tabloid exposés exposing his lurid lifestyles of the furry denizens of the underground.

Last week in Pommeland there was an a–inch or so of snow on Monday along with temperatures that never rose above the mid–30s a–grad. Wednesday saw a dusting of more snow but with a break in the cold. The thermometer rose into the mid–40s, which is normal for Pommeland at this time of year but unwelcome.

Sunday was cloudy with increasing cloudiness piled upon more clouds along with freezing rain. Monday will see the freezing cease but not the rain. Clouds and rain will alternate for the upcoming week – although the rain must be accompanied by clouds – with temperatures at or a bit above normal. The weekend will see cooler temperatures and more rainsnowsnain on Sunday.

"A la prochaine, Météo Jim"

photo, crowd at printemps window Some flanneurs jump ship.

Café Life

If You are a Grouch

It doesn't matter if you've got no money , it doesn't matter if you are on strike, it doesn't matter if you are depressed – you could work more but Sarkozy doesn't pay overtime – and it doesn't matter that it's raining worse on Saturday night than the past seven Decembers, and it doesn't matter that about a million commuters think it doesn't matter either – no, son, you did have to go up to the boulevard Haussmann in that pissy weather and try to look at those windows, those darn Christmas windows. The kids, any age, would love it.

It doesn't matter how much common sense you have, you were going to do it. The rain was coming down all day. Did it have anything to do with the storm warning Météo France was hustling all afternoon? A proper gale for Sunday. Batten the hatches, but first jump in the métro and cruise over to Haussmann with a lot of other crazies who should have known better.

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