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The Paris basin lies midway between coastal Brittany and mountainous Alsace and is affected by both climates. The Île de France region, of which Paris is the centre, records among the lowest annual precipitation (about 640mm) in the nation, but rainfall is erratic; you’re just as likely to be caught in a heavy spring shower or an autumn downpour as in a sudden summer cloudburst. Paris’ average yearly temperature is just under 12°C (2°C in January, 19°C in July), but the mercury sometimes drops below zero in winter and can climb into the 30s in the middle of summer.

You can find out the weather forecast in French for the Paris area by calling 0 892 680 275. The national forecast can be heard on 0 899 701 234 in French or 0 899 701 111 in one of 11 different languages. Call charges for either number are €1.35 then €0.35 per minute. Another number (French only) is 3250 charged at €0.34 per minute. The summary can also be read for free on the website of Météo France (www.meteofrance.com, in French).