A Mediterranean mountain climate

The “High” Alps with peaks nearing 4 000 m are under Mediterranean influence :
They get 300 sunny days a year. Because of the very dry air (the average hygrometry during the day is below 40%) there is very little mist of fog.
The region gets more hours of sunshine than … Nice. The larch, “tree of light”, a coniferous tree whose leaves shed in autumn, is a very good climatic indicator; it shows the border line between the southern Alps and the Northern ones. The numerous sundials are also a feature of Mediterranean civilisation.

Altitude makes warm sunlight pleasant.
However, because the higher massif of Les Ecrins and the Pelvoux are very close and because of the heavy rainfalls at the beginning of Winter and in Spring there is as much snow here as in more northern mountain resorts, and the temperatures are not so harsh due to the generous sun.

Mountain chains which have an influence on prevailing winds protect the village of Pelvoux.

The reason for this local micro-climate is the way the valleys lie. The Durance valley lies between North and South which is unusual in the Alps. So it facilitates the passage of Mediterranean air whereas very high rnges block the humid air from west and east.

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