, , ,

I’ve experienced hot weather in Paris before, for a day or two, but the forecast for our last week is daunting: highs in the 90’s — or even 100 degrees — almost every day!

The French call this a canicule. They usually happen in July and August — a big reason why I visit in May and June — but this year it’s early. Forecasts suggest that this week may be even worse than the historic heat wave of August, 2003, which caused the death of 15,000 people in France. Most of those people were already sick or elderly (!?), but it’s nevertheless a daunting figure!

Paris apartments rarely have air conditioning, nor does ours. We do have pretty decent cross-ventilation between courtyards on two sides, we don’t get much direct sun, and we have exterior shutters. Our strategy is to open the windows overnight when it’s cool(er), then keep the windows and shutters closed during the heat of the day.

The apartment came with a fancy Dyson fan but I went out on Saturday afternoon to buy a second fan for the other bedroom. There were lines of Parisians at Darty and a huge stack of fans right by the entrance, just like stores do with umbrellas when it rains.

When we go out we plan to spend as much time as possible in air conditioned places like museums and movie theaters. Jared has even researched which métro lines have a/c: 1,2,5,9 and 14.Wish us luck!

Update June 26, 2019: Fortunately, the forecast has become more moderate so it’s basically just a week of sunny, hot weather, not a deadly canicule. The strategy of opening up all our the windows at night (when it’s been deliciously cool) and closing both shutters and windows during the day has worked beautifully to keep our apartment cool, and it hasn’t been too hot to spend time outdoors either. Thanks to the friends and family who saw the news and/or my original post, but it looks as though all will be well!

Mot du jour: « plan c ». Eugène explained that on social networking sites this refers to a « plan climatisation », when you meet someone to take advantage of their a/c.