Expats living in France will find that climate patterns are highly variable depending on their location. Generally speaking, however, foreigners can look forward to a climate that is temperate and agreeable.
The weather in France can range from warm summers in the southern coast to wet, snowy winters in the Alpine area. Expats should closely investigate the particularities of their region before drawing conclusions about its climate.
In north and northwestern France rain occurs throughout the year. Winters are moderate, and summers are warm but not excessively hot.
Southwestern and Mediterranean France have the most attractive weather patterns for expats. Sunshine is plentiful, summers are hot and winters are mild. Rainfall is predominantly associated with summer thunderstorms. Expats need only prepare themselves for the occasional cold wind which blows for short periods during spring.
Central and eastern France have a continental climate characterised by cold, harsh, winters and warm summers. Snow is more likely to fall here than in other regions of France, with the exception of the Alpine region.
The mountainous regions of France march to the beat of their own meteorological drum. Expats can expect these areas to be the wettest and coldest in the country. In this region, snow falls between three and six months of the year.
On the whole, rainfall in France is moderate and occurs throughout the year, though nowhere near as much as in neighbouring countries like Belgium. Transitions between the seasons in France are distinct, and expats can look forward to uniquely seasonal weather in spring, summer, winter and autumn.