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Climatic characteristics of Vendée

Like all the west coast frontage of France, the Vendée is subjected to the oceanic climate with autumns and winters in general mild, wet and windy and a drier season in the summer but a little fresher.

However, we can see that, from its geographical position, the Vendée is located on the zone between the Armorican solid mass and the Aquitanian basin. Consequently the disturbances circulating on the English Channel and Brittany often do not touch the department, in the summer.
In parallel the great stormy systems which develop on the south of the Bay of Biscay and the Landes affect Charentes and often only overflow very slightly on the south-east of the department.

Concerning the parameters characterizing the climate, they are in general dependent on the distance from the coast. This is true for the temperatures and the sunshine, to a lesser extent for precipitations.

As soon as one moves away from the immediate proximity of the coast, the continental influence quickly becomes prevalent:
– the effects of the breeze die down fade.
– the average sunshine decreases.
– the days of frost increase very quickly to become homogeneous on the greatest part of the marshland.
– the number of days of very high temperatures above 30 degrees also increase very quickly.


The littoral band and the islands are relatively well protected from excesses; however at the time of large cold waves, mercury can go down by up to -10 degrees, even in the Island of Yeu; in the same way the summer the thermometer can largely indicate 30 degrees on the island, the record being 35.2 degrees.
The number of days of frost on the islands are between 12 and 15, on the coast approximately 25, and in the marsland from 40 to 50 on average.
There are 2 to 5 days of very high temperatures on the islands and the coast, and 10 to 15 days in the interior.


Precipitations are relatively homogeneous and one can say that in autumn and winter, the Vendeen climate resembles more or less the Breton climate. However one observes two areas where the quantities collected annually are higher with figures higher than 850 millimetres even 900 millimetres:
– first buttresses of the marshland immediately in the east of the Breton marsh and the marshes of the country of Olonne.
– Vendeen hills of GÃtines extending from between the Vendée and Deux-Sevres to the forest of
The driest areas are those on the coastal edge, the littoral marshes and the islands where annually there is from 620 to 720 millimetres.
The most rainy period extends from the end of September to the end of January. Over these 4 months between 40 to 50% of the annual rain falls; spring is very variable according to the year; the rains of summer are often stormy.


The East coast in an average year has more than 2100 hours of sunshine while the marshlandl only benefits from an 1850 hours. Sables d’Olonne’s sunshine for the year is equivalent to that of La Rochelle but also to that of Carcassonne. It is higher than that of Bordeaux and Biarritz.

Bad weather

Cold weather does not always bring rain. One can say that the Vendée is one of the French departments with the least snow approximatively 2 to 4 days of snow per annum; however the hills of the east of the Vendée with altitudes from 200 to 300 meters are sometimes affected.
The days of storm are not numerous per annum, 10 to 15 days.


The wind is very present because of the maritime location of the department. The effects of the sea breeze in summer are frequent on a littoral band of ten kilometre.
In fact the southwest winds dominate over the Vendée for a third of the year. They are synonymous with bad weather.
On the other hand the winds of north-eastern quadrant can blow strongly but correspond to a dry period warm in summer and cold in winter. They blow for quarter of the year which is far from negligible.
The storms often occur in autumn and winter. With the exception of the islands, the wind reaches only seldomly 110, 120 kilometres per hour. But in one year, on average there are 2 or 3 episodes of strong winds (storms) where the maximum points can reach or exceed 100 kilometers per hour, in particular in the western half of the Vendée.