Languedoc's Weather: SEASONS. How the weather changes throughout the year in Languedoc Roussillon, south France
Languedoc's weather is incredibly varied - with swelteringly hot summers and freezing cold winters. If you're thinking of visiting the region, or living here, you'll probably want to know what's happening weather-wise throughout the year. Below, we give a run down of Languedoc weather across all four seasons.
Languedoc in Spring (Beautiful & mild)
Languedoc in Spring is sunny and cool, becoming warm by late April. Spring weather is perhaps the least intense season in Languedoc. The rains return in March, and slowly decrease in frequency towards the summer. But spring's showers are rarely the torrential affairs of Autumn.
It can be very windy, however, with the Mistral (eastern Languedoc) and Tramontane (western Languedoc) winds rushing down mountain valleys for days at a time.
Generally, though, its a mild season - the air becomes thick with the smells of flowers and herbs and the buzz of insects, and it's still clear enough to see huge distances away - including the snow-covered Pyrénées from hilltops in the Hérault department.
Languedoc in Summer (Extreme heat)
From the end of May, it's warm enough in Languedoc to swim in rivers, lakes and in the sea (although the temperature of the sea varies daily due to currents). Temperatures in early summer are perfectly warm, and the rain of spring dies down by June.
Two months of solid sunshine then follow - with the air temperature rising daily, getting up to the high 30s (and low-40's when there's a 'canicule' or heatwave). This is when you really need to shut all your windows and shutters during the day. Evenings, however, are balmy and warm, and eating out in shorts at night is one of the season's great plusses.
The heat does thicken the air, however, and distant mountain ranges tend to disappear from sight. In the middle of August, (almost like clockwork), the weather finally breaks. The heat dips, and the clouds roll in from the sea, bringing with them the odd rain shower.
Languedoc in Autumn (Intense & beautiful)
Summer boils over into an erratic mix of heat, clouds, wind and rain. Autumn is perhaps Languedoc's most intense season. Dramatic thunder and rain storms suddenly arrive - pouring down for days on end, swelling all the rivers and lakes and often causing serious flooding. The wind picks up too.
But don't let all that sturm und drang' put you off. Autumn is in some ways the most beautiful season. The vines turn orange and red, the air becomes much clearer, and the stifling heat of summer gives way to a comfortable warmth - eventually becoming cool.
It's superb weather for walks, and is often still warm enough to be out in just a shirt until November. You can swim until mid-October.
Languedoc in Winter (Bright & freezing)
Languedoc may be on the Mediterranean, but its winters can be bitterly cold - making winter perhaps the least pleasant time to be here.
That said, unlike northern Europe, blighted by miserable low grey cloud, Languedoc enjoys winters that are mostly sunny, with empty and enormous blueberry-blue skies stretching forever. The preponderance of evergreens also means winter in Languedoc stays relatively green.
Snow falls on high ground, and all areas experience frost in the mornings. The strong winds and rain of autumn die down in winter, giving way to the odd shower and cloudy day from time to time. December can still be quite warm - with temperatures getting near 20 Celsius now and then. But by January, the temperature really plummets, so make sure you're well stocked up on fire wood.