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Canal Du Midi Cycling Weather

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Canal Du Midi Cycling Weather and Seasons

Cycling and weather go hand in hand.  What is the best time to cycle the Canal Du Midi?  Which months should I avoid?  Is it really hot in summer time, or really cold in winter?  It all depends on what you are used to, according to Australian friend and contributor it is mild here in summer and she loves that there is such low humidity, while Norwegians in the village find it very hot here in summer.  However, most people cycle the Canal Du Midi in the "better" months of summer.  Your main worries should be RAIN and WIND!

 

Canal Du Midi Climate

The climate along the Canal Du Midi is Mediterranean.  This climate is characterized long hot dry summers, warm springs and autumns, and clear mild winters.

 

 

 

climate chart canal du midi

 

Rainfall along Canal Du Midi

As said before, the biggest concern for cyclists along the Canal Du Midi is precipitation.  And this is mostly in the form of rain.  Snow is very rare, and at most it will snow 1 day a year, at which time pictures are taken by the thousands.  The most rainfall is in the spring and fall.  If you plan to cycle the Canal Du Midi, and if possible, it would be best to avoid April and October.

 

The towpaths along the Canal Du Midi are for the most part unpaved.  Thus if it rains, it becomes muddy.  Some places the towpath can handle the rain just fine, as the quality of dirt varies significantly from one part to the other.  Some parts might have a few puddles that are easily avoided.  Some parts will have so many smaller puddles that you are going to have to bounce through them, or maybe try your changes in the tall grass right next to the path.  And the other parts will be muddy tracks.  Thus rain is your biggest enemy and the one the hardest to control.  The second problem is wind, which we will discuss below.

 

It is for this reason that tires are an important part of your bicycles, and you should upgrade your tires before you come to something wide and strong.  Go with a tire with a good profile, something that can grab the dirt and hold on to it for a bit, to avoid sliding and falling.  Puncture protection is also necessary as there is a spiny plant that grows along the Canal Du Midi towpaths that are the most often cause of punctures.

 

canal du midi average rainfall

 

Wind along the Canal Du Midi

 

There is a wind here that the locals call the Tramontane.  It can be windy at times.  The tramontane blows from the West to the East.  Also, the prevailing winds flow in this same direction.  It is basically colder air coming in from the Atlantic Ocean and flowing to the Mediterranean.  Thus the best way to prepare for this is to start your trip somewhere in the West and cycle towards the Sea.  Of course, the wind does make exceptions as well, as sometimes the wind flows from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic.

 

live wind map canal du midi

Click image above to get a live view of the wind.

 

 

Average temperatures Canal Du Midi

The temperatures are generally mild with an extreme week in summer anywhere between June and August where temperatures will be over 30C for more than 6 days straight.  During that week temperatures can even go as high as 38C.  In winter the temperature never goes below freezing for most of the time.  It probably snows as often as it freezes here at night, about 1 day a year.

 

The most pleasant temperatures are in September.  This would also be a better month to cycle the Canal Du Midi if you want to avoid the summer crowds, which are most dense around the cities.  Many of the locals will be cycling the Canal Du Midi, but usually for just 5 kilometers of so, a bit of fun in the afternoon that kind of cycling.  However, as soon as you get a few kilometers away from the big cities the paths become quiet again.  Birds can be heard chirping, you can enjoy the sunshine and just relax again.  And as soon as you start to approach the next big city along the Canal Du Midi, you will start encountering more cyclists.  Thus September has the added benefit of not only ideal temperatures, but also less traffic.

 

The temperatures are mild in winter, and it is a good time to ride the Canal Du Midi.  Days are sunny and skies are clear in winter.

 

canal du midi average temperatures

 

 

Historical Weather Calendar For the Canal Du Midi

 

The best way to see what the weather might be like when you are planning your bike tour along the Canal Du Midi is to simply check what the weather was like last year on your chosen date.  This can be done very easily using weatherundergound's website.

 

Weather Calendars are available for: Toulouse, Carcassonne, Vias (all places with an airport).

 

weather history canal du midi france

Click on image above to open weather history for Canal Du Midi, France.

 

Climate Change Canal Du Midi

 

Unfortunately climate change is also happening in the south of France.  What this means is that trees and plants start to flower and bud earlier and earlier each year.

 

January weather along the Canal Du Midi

Weather is cold but sunny.

 

February weather along the Canal Du Midi

In 2017 the first buds on plants started to appear around February 25th.  Minuscule leaves are visible on March 1st already.  And many fruit trees are in full bloom at the end of February 2017 as well.  Weather is nice to cycle though, in February and March.  A long sleeve shirt is all that is needed, and a t-shirt will be enough once you have been riding for 30 minutes or so in the full sun.

 

March weather along the Canal Du Midi

Poppy flowers start to appear.  Small trees will get leaves at the start of the month, while the larger trees are still without leaves.  Larger trees such as sycamores (plantane trees) and chestnuts start sprouting leaves towards the second half of the month.  Weather is very nice most of the time, in the low 20's celcius.  But cold fronts can come in making the next day suddenly 10 degrees cooler.  It is daylight till around 7PM.  Rain is rare.

 

April weather along the Canal Du Midi

Everything is in bloom.  Cherry trees are in full bloom on April 1st already.  Fig trees now have leaves and small green figs appear.  Grape stock in the vineyards are sprouting leaves as well in the first week of April.  Sycamore trees have leaves, but their leaves are not yet full grown until the end of the month. Weather is mild, in the low 20's celcius.  Evenings and nights are still a bit cold.  Chestnut trees are in bloom.  Fields are still covered in red poppies.  Weather is changing.  Some days it is warm, up to 28 degrees celcius.  The next day it might rain and the maximum temperature might only be 18 degrees celcius.  Cold and warm fronts are battling each other for dominance, so the weather is good one day, bad the next.  Rain is frequent and at times very intense.

 

May Weather Along the Canal Du Midi

Fields are still covered in bright red poppies.  Figs growing in the wild are producing large green fruits.  Baby ducks are being born and start their new lives on the Canal Du Midi.  Temperatures can get up to 30 degrees Celcius already, and beaches are becoming popular with sunbathers.  The sea itself, however, is void of swimmers because the water is still very cold.  Temperatures are excellent for cycling, as they are for the most part in the low to mid 20's Celcius.  There is still a few days of rain that can be intense at times, which turns the bicycle path along the canal into mud.

 

June Weather Along the Canal Du Midi

The first 30 degrees Celsius days have arrived.  Temperatures can sometimes go as high as 35 degrees Celsius. The poppy fields are gone now.  The snow on the Pyrenees has all melted.  Rain is rare; brush fires more common now.  (Please make sure to always put out any campfires and cigarettes!).  Water temperatures in the sea are up to 22 degrees now.  Sunflowers start to bloom in the second half of the month.  Plane trees (sycamore) are shedding their bark, turning their trunks light yellow.  Maybe this is because of the heat, as lighter colors absorb less heat.

 

July Weather Along the Canal Du Midi

July is not as hot as June.  Rain is very rare.  Sunshine is abundant.  One of the best months to cycle the Canal Du Midi.

 

August Weather Along the Canal Du Midi

Temperatures start to cool down in the second half of the month, with nights and mornings being nice and cool.  Temperatures climb steadily during the day and the afternoons can get humid.  Sun is still plentiful and rain rare.  Grapes start getting harvested towards the second half of the month.  Sunflowers have finished blooming and are hanging with their heads down in the fields, allowing the seeds to dry.  Figs are starting to ripen now; but many are still green until the next month.  Some of the chestnut trees are shedding their leaves already.  August is also the vacation month for the French population, so expect every place to be busy.

 

September Weather Along the Canal Du Midi

One can still wear shorts and t-shirt.  Evenings and mornings are cool, and a light jacket is no longer a luxury.  Sun is plentiful and rain still very rare.  Birds such as storks start flocking in large groups preparing for their departure south.  Olives on the trees are green and being harvested.  The leaves on the sycamore trees are past their prime and start showing their first hints of brown around their edges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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