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Rain in Paris

So excited to be in Paris next week but I’m looking at the weather and all I see is rain! Is it usually scattered or should I plan to adjust our schedule to do more inside activities?

Is it worth packing umbrellas? Rain jackets?

Posted by
3804 posts

Hi,
Rain in Paris is usually scattered, but a rain jacket will help. It will double as a coat, which you will need given the not so warm temperatures that we have at the moment. As for umbrellas, every parisian has one but they are a burden in metros, museums, restaurants... So it's up to you.
In any case, Paris is full of indoor activities so you shouldn't worry too much.

Posted by
1804 posts

We'll be in Loches next week. I do see there is chances of rain most days :-(.

We take a raincoat that folds up into itself as a pouch. It helped a lot in Scotland. I don't take umbrellas because we pack light. If I need one, I just buy an inexpensive one and leave it behind when I'm done.

Posted by
8889 posts
  • Rain does not mean all day, it means it probably will rain for part of the day.
  • Forecasts are not 100%. It may not rain (or it may rain on a different day).
  • You can buy umbrellas in Paris.
Posted by
4654 posts

Rain was forecast in Portsmouth today. It certainly darkened enough to make me think twice about hanging the washing out, as it was it turned ut to be a few spots that barely moistened the lawn. Forecasts, particularly on the Atlantic Martime Coast are notoriously difficult to perfect. All I see on the BBC weather forecast for Paris next week is light showers punctuated by sunshine, exactly what was forecase for Portsmouth today and what we did receive couldn't ever be described as a light shower. I really wouldn't concern yourself about it.

Posted by
144 posts

I couldn't imagine not packing a raincoat this time of year.

Bon Voyage!

Posted by
776 posts

A raincoat is a necessary in Paris no matter the season. To me umbrellas are a pain. I use a hat with a brim and always have a hood on any raincoat I use.

Chilly next week too. I'm still in silk long underwear.

Posted by
5566 posts

Most so-called "weather forecasts" used in the world today have been so dumbed-down that they're all but useless. The kind of weather forecast -- like you see with a glance at your phone or similar icon-driven source -- is such a vast oversimplification that it's not terribly meaningful.

You see a cloud and a raindrop. What does that really mean? Does it mean it's going to rain hard for 24 hours? Probably not. It probably means that at some time during that 24 hour period, at least some rain will probably fall somewhere....but where exactly? ("Paris" is a big place), exactly how much rain? (a little drizzle, or a major downpour?) and for how long (maybe 5 minutes in the early morning, maybe 10 minutes late at night, or maybe for several hours mid-day?)....which is it?

Weather forecasts for "next week" may be just a wild guess based more on historical trends than any actual data. It depends where you are and what time of year, but IME most weather forecasts are only somewhat accurate for the next 24-72 hours. Looking more than a few days ahead, you might as well just make stuff up. Now, in fairness, there are broad trends that can usually be relied on: it's going to be sunny and hot in Italy during August (except when it's not) and gray and rainy in Seattle (or Edinburgh) in November (except when it's not). But in the specific neighborhood where you'll be on next Sunday afternoon at 2:00? Good luck predicting that a week out.

To get a reasonable sense of what the weather is going to really do where you're going, find a detailed, highly-localized, hourly forecast. Ignore anything that looks ahead more than a few days, that's just making wild guesses.

Smart travelers carry decent ("good enough") gear to keep themselves dry and warm even during the summer "nice weather" months. If you're going to someplace where the weather doesn't always make things very easy for everyone all the time (say, Minnesota during January), plan accordingly.

Umbrellas are not well-suited to travel. Lightweight, packable rain coats are (and maybe rain pants, depending on where you're going).

Posted by
11286 posts

You should always have rain gear. What kind you use is up to you. I use an umbrella, but as you see, others have other methods.

I also agree that you can't count on a weather forecast - good or bad. When you are actually in Paris, you may have a lot of rain, a bit of rain, or no rain - and that's true regardless of the forecast. One specific trip I remember was to the Basque country. It was forecast to rain almost every day, in a region famous for its rain, so I was mentally prepared for the worst. In the end, I only had one day of heavy rain (out of 10), and it cleared by mid-afternoon.

Prepare for this now, to avoid disappointment. I definitely look at the 10 day weather just before leaving, so I have some idea if I should adjust my packing (say, taking more short sleeve shirts because it's going to be hotter). And I look at the 24 hour forecast before going out in the morning, to avoid the worst surprises (like a warm sunny morning that's predicted to turn colder or rainier later in the day), and to plan activities. But I never leave my hotel without rain gear - that's a recipe for frustration.

One thing I do is have mental lists of good weather and bad weather activities. If the weather turns good, I pivot to a good weather activity, and if it's bad, I pivot to something appropriate for that. That's why, for instance, saying "Tuesday we'll see the Luxembourg Gardens and Wednesday we'll see the Louvre" should never be written in stone; you should be prepared to change these if the weather dictates.

Posted by
8390 posts

You could have drizzle or you could have a short downpour. You could have chilly days, you could have warm sun. Paris is only a couple of hours from the Atlantic, so weather is hard to predict despite what the weather girl promises on the TV.

In Paris, we once had a summer with heatwave and drought followed by four summers of overcast skies every single friggin day in Paris. So prepare for everything.

Posted by
1772 posts

We just left Paris. It was lovely on Wednesday- sunny and warm. The rain started the next day.Sometimes it was drizzle, sometimes it was mist, and sometimes it was a downpour. I hit a puddle and was glad I had a second pair of shoes. We brought one umbrella, which has already justified its inclusion, but it would have been easy to buy another there. Most Parisians seem to use single person-sized rather than something big, as it’s easier to navigate in crowds. Layers were key, since it is still chilly.

Posted by
4249 posts

It has seemed to me that forecasts tend to be more pessimistic than optimistic. It typically does not rain all day when the forecast is for rain. I don't travel with an umbrella for two reasons. One, hotels often have them, the big hotels "fancy" ones as well as the smaller inns, and two, it's hard to sight see with an umbrella. You lose one hand to having to hold the umbrella so its hard to take a photo or check a map. They get soaked and are dripping when you enter an establishment. I always wear a hat with a visor under the hood of my raincoat. It keeps the rain off my face.

Posted by
26 posts

Can I vent? Our first two days I planned lots of wandering outside and it’s cool and maybe rainy. Our last two days were to be museum days but right now those are looking nice and sunny. (Don’t want to do museums on our arrival day.) Regardless of what we do when, it’s Paris so I can’t be too sad :)

I’m definitely going to bring an extra pair of shoes along with my rain jacket. I was recently in New York and spent an evening walking in the rain and my shoes were too wet to wear the next day. Bad news for my light packing!

Posted by
5115 posts

Ahnu waterproof walking shoes. These are fabulous. I've been in miserable storms but never had my feet feel miserable.

Posted by
4249 posts

I never have a set itinerary. I make a list of what I want to do with hours and closed days. I get up look at the weather, make an educated guess and go off and do something on the list. When I'm done with that, I look at my list again to determine if I will try something else that day or if I'm ready for a cafe or a walk or . . .

Posted by
335 posts

Waterproof shoes and a rain jacket are your friends. Not a fan of umbrellas. They block your way of seeing things and if it’s windy forget about it .

Posted by
5566 posts

In a pinch, wet shoes can be dried using a hair dryer. It can take a while, but eventually it works. Don't ask me how I know this.

Posted by
613 posts

We always travel with a travel umbrella. It folds up small enough to fit in a pocket. Because it is so small, best that everybody has one. I think Totes makes one.

Posted by
1598 posts

We’re in Rome. It rained yesterday, a lot in the morning and off and on in the afternoon. Forecast is more rain today. Cold by my (AZ) standards too. Even the Romans say this is a wet cold late spring. Just go with the flow. It’s Rome or Paris or Venice. It’s Europe so just enjoy your vacation. Take an umbrella or buy one there. If you don’t have a good raincoat several of the cheap 99Cent store ones will work.

Absolutely nothing is going to spoil this trip for my sister-in-law and me. We’re having a great time.

Posted by
3303 posts

My first visit to Paris was in February of 2002 and it rained everyday of my visit. I didn't care one bit! I had my raincoat, my lightweight/compact umbrella and waterproof boots. I enjoyed it all and without hordes of tourists. Pack whatever makes you comfortable when outside in the rain.

Just go with the flow. It’s Rome or Paris or Venice. It’s Europe so
just enjoy your vacation.

Exactly!

Posted by
1804 posts

We fly ATL to CDG tonight. I checked the week’s weather for Loches. It’s a little cooler and wetter than a would have preferred. I’m adjusting my packing accordingly. Luckily, the following week in London looks more promising.

We’ve been blessed with exceptionally good wether in our past trips to Europe. We’ll do fine. Actually, I’m sorry we won’t spend time in Paris. I’ve always wanted to photograph Paris in the rain, with the streets glistening from the street lamps. Some of my favorite paintings and photographs of Paris are in the rain.