Considering the landscape, how’s the weather in Montpellier?

Travelling to Montpellier and want to know what the weather is going to be like in advance? Below, we explore the climate of this region and assess how its unique terrain contributes to the conditions experienced at different times of the year.

Terrain

Montpellier is near the Mediterranean Sea in the south-eastern region of Herault whose territory is defined as an open amphitheater on the sea, surrounded by the Cevennes northeast and the Haut-Languedoc northwest.

Rising to 57 meters in place of Peyrou, the former Royal Square where the statue of Louis XIV, the city began to develop on two hills, Montpellier and Montpellieret. Some streets are so high slope. The city is nicknamed Lo Clapas: “the pile of stones” in Occitan, because of its basic building material – stone Castries, which is shell limestone, white to cream in origin but which adopts a golden patina as it ages. The territory extends to the hills overlooking the old city: the Lunaret,

The territory extends to the hills overlooking the old city: the Lunaret, Montmaur and Plan des Quatre-lords in the north, the district of Mosson (divided into two districts: La Paillade and Hauts-de-Massane) northwest, peaking at nearly 110 meters above sea level to the water tower of Paillade.

Montpellier can be seen from Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone. In the background, the Pic Saint-Loup. Its landscape is especially marked by the peak Saint-Loup (658m), located 25km north of the city, visible in many places of the city, as the Peyrou promenade and the Corum roof terrace end of Esplanade aisles.

The municipality covers an area of 5688 hectares and is the 724th town in France by its surface area (about 36,682 square meters). Although it is not the largest municipality in the region or municipality, the area is still more important than Lyon (4787ha), Lille (3483ha) or Bordeaux (4936ha). The municipality is urbanized to the ratio of about three-fifths, but this urbanization is growing rapidly.

The rest of the territory is composed of green spaces, protected natural areas (River Lez, zoological reserves, and Lunaret Montmaur wood) and agricultural areas. About 180 ha of land is still predominantly agricultural, mostly planted with vines. Its main locations are east (Montaubérou, Valedeau, Flaugergues), south of the A9 (Méjanelle, Mogère, First lock) to the north (4-Lords Plan area of Valletta), to the extreme south (Little Sandstone) and west (Mas-Nouguier, Castle Well Bionne, Rieucoulon).

Climate

Montpellier’s climate is typically Mediterranean. It follows relatively mild temperatures (15.2 degrees celsius on average), sunshine among the highest in France (7 hours 22 minutes per day on average, much higher than the French average of 4h 46 min 24) and the days of small rainfall (less than 60 mm), but sometimes heavy rain, especially in the fall from September to December in the Mediterranean episodes or Cevennes, frequently causing flooding in low areas of the city (on average, two or three episodes per year).

To date, at the records, we will raise the 320 mm fell in September 8, 1938 in Montpellier city and recently, on 29 September 2014, the 299.5 mm recorded at Montpellier airport (weather station Fréjorgues). Such figures, however, remain rare.

On the contrary, summer is often very dry or arid with few rains in August related to thunderstorms. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 24.1 degrees and January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 7.2 degrees. The heat record for Fréjorgues station is 37.5 degrees July 17, 1990 and the cold record of -17.8 degrees on February 5, 1963. More recently, the temperature rose to 37, 2 degrees on June 21, 2003 constituting the heat record for the month of June. However, the proximity of the sea promotes the installation of a sea breeze that moderates the heat excess in summer.

The climate of Montpellier, like most cities located near the sea, is also characterized by a feeling of warmth often higher than the actual temperature, especially in the months from August to October, the Mediterranean Sea is very hot at the time, sea winds bring warm and moist air on the coast.

Thus, the perceived temperature is regularly higher than 4 and 8 degrees. For example, on September 15, 2014 at 7pm, it was within a heat index (humidex) 29 while the temperature was only 22.4 degrees. This difference often creates a feeling of well-being, but can sometimes be felt as great discomfort, as it did during the heatwave of 2003, where a humidex of over 30 was measured on almost all nights of the month of August.

Conversely, the winds from the North and Northwest are also accompanied by a feeling of chill (Windchill). In addition, relatively protected from the Mistral and Tramontana by the advance of the Cevennes reliefs, Montpellier is the least windy city from the Gulf of Lion.

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