Few travelers have accurate information about the climate that they're going to encounter in Mexico. Visions of palm trees swaying in the trade winds eclipses reality for many, that is until they arrive on a beach dressed in shorts and sandals to find cold rain lashing those same coconut palms. Mexico is large and it's topography ranges from pool table flat in Yucatan to mountain peaks more than three miles high. Much of interior Mexico lies above one mile in elevation. To compound an already complex picture, Mexico's weather originates to the
North and West in Winter and to the East and South in the Summer.
Northern West Coast Beaches To Mazatlan
The further south you venture the warmer it gets which is no surprise. The Baja peninsula to the West acts as a rain barrier to as far South as Mazatlan. Winter days are mild, but nights are chilly. Winter humidity ranges from around thirty to fifty percent. Cold winter storms frequently drop down from the United States. Summer temperatures can be fierce, with humidity values to eighty percent. A typical January day in Mazatlan will see temperatures around seventy degrees with nighttime lows in the low fifties. A weather quirk about Mazatlan is that January daytime highs are warmer than March daytime highs which can be on the clammy side (moderate temperatures with high humidity). Best weather is, November thru February. Winter is the primary rainy season
for the region.
Central West Coast Beaches Mazatlan to Manzanillo
This area offers perhaps the most dependably excellent Winter beach weather in Mexico. Daytime highs are in the low to mid-eighties while nighttime lows average in the mid-sixties to seventy degrees. Summer brings oppressive heat and humidity. The best months to visit are December - March. Winter storms seldom affect the coast this far south. Hurricanes are a possibility June through September. Summers are the primary rainy season for the region.
Southern West Coast Manzanillo to Tapachula
If you desire really warm weather this area cannot be topped. The northern section is of course a little cooler than the south, but ninety-degree January days are the norm rather than the exception. A typical January day in Acapulco has a high temperature in the low nineties and a low in the low seventies. This coupled with humidity that seldom drops below fifty percent may be a bit much for visitors from west of the Rockies. Easterners are used to high humidity, and you might want to consider this before planning a stay. Summer temperatures and
humidity pack a wallop. Only crazed surfers are likely to stick around. Best months are December through February. A hurricane or two always hammers this area every summer. Summers are the primary rainy season
for this region.
East Coast Texas to Villahermosa
Mexico's gulf coast is a lot wetter than it's West Coast, both summer and winter. In fact oppressive humidity is a primary factor of why this area is normally bypassed by many tourists. Winters can be cold and wet and summers are always steamy. Best weather is in deep winter, December through February. Many hurricanes have affected this area in the summer.
Yucatan frequently catches winter weather fronts sagging from the US. Cold drizzle, overcast skies, and blustery winds are not what one would expect in Cancun, but they are a fact of life. Mostly though, expect winter daytime highs in the seventies and eighties, with clear skies. May is the hottest month in Mexico and Merida the capitol of the state of Yucatan frequently sees temperatures to one hundred fifteen degrees. Summers are oppressively hot and humid except right on the water where it is just plain hot and humid. Hurricanes frequently make landfall in the Yucatan, and you should be prepared to face one if you travel in the season. The best months are November - February. Summer is the primary rainy season in Yucatan.
Colonial cities are the most popular attraction for visitors who visit the interior. Most of these are located one mile or higher in elevation. Summer is the rainy season, but temperature and humidity levels are tempered by high elevation. Winter can bring shocking cold temperatures at night especially in the north. Daytime highs are usually in the fifties to low seventies. Expect hard freezes December through February. Summers can be delightful. Daytime highs in the seventies to high eighties while nighttime have temperatures in the high fifties to
seventy degrees. Humidity levels range from twenty to Fifty percent.
The Copper Canyon
The rim is a mile higher than the floor so expect a big difference in temperature summer or winter. The Tarahumara Indian residents migrate down in the winter and up in the summer to take advantage of the natural
air conditioner. Snowfall frequently blankets the upper regions December through February. Expect lows to ten degrees and highs to sixty during this period. In the summer rim temperatures are in the eighties while deep in the canyons it can reach a hundred twenty or higher. Winter is the rainy season but hurricane remnants can cause summer cloudbursts, thunder and lightning. October - December and March - April are the best months to visit.
Located in southern Mexico at an elevation of 5,000 ft., this favorite destination enjoys relatively friendly weather year-round. Summer can be a little warm with temperatures in the nineties and winter nights can be
brisk with chilly conditions in the forties. Summer is the rainy season here with frequent thundershowers. Humidity levels are moderate year-round. Best, all-year.
San Cristobal de Las Casas
Another favorite interior city is this gem in the southern extreme of the country. Winter nights can be cold, daytime temperatures are usually in the sixties and seventies. Summers can be wet and warm, with highs in the eighties, and lows in the sixties. Summer is the wet season. Best time to visit is October - November, and March - April.
The Baja Peninsula
The west (Pacific Ocean) coast is always cooler than the east (Gulf of California) coast, regardless of the season. Much of the winter weather is influenced by weather systems passing to the north. Winters are usually mild with warm days and chilly nights. Summer temperatures can be fierce with one hundred ten degrees not unusual for Mulege, Loreto, and La Paz. Summer humidity levels can range to eighty percent along the Gulf coast. Hurricanes can be a problem from Loreto south to the cape. Late August and September are the most likely months. Blustery winter winds are common, originating from the northwest. Near gale force blasts can last for days, and it isn't uncommon to see windy days for much of the winter. Baja can experience rain summer or winter, but remember, seven inches, which is normal, isn't a lot. The best months to escape the heat or the wind are October - November and April - May.
Special thanks to contributing writer: David Eidell