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Rainy Season is Here!

Rainy Season is Here!

Surprisingly, the rainy season is a great time to visit Guadalajara.  It is cooler, and everything is green and lush, and the frequent thunderstorms only last an hour or so–perfect for a coffeebreak from your touring around!

June 11, 2008

Rainy season in Guadalajara.

Rainy season in Guadalajara.

In the cycle of the seasons, April and May are often frustrating months where I grew up, in Central New York.  You have six months of winter weather behind you, and just ache for warmth and blue skies and flowers and green.  In these days of global warming, we’ve recently had Spring in April.  But when I was growing up, we had the last snows in May and it wasn’t warm until June.  The wait seemed interminable.

We dreamt about the Tropics.

Now we live in the Tropics, and we ache for the rains.

April and May are the hot months in Guadalajara.   We are a mile up, so we don’t get the triple digit temperatures, but most days have a high of between 90 and 95 degrees (up to 34 degrees C).  And yes, it is “dry heat.”  But there are no clouds, and no rain, and everything is dusty and brown and sere.

In the middle of May there are usually a few tantalizing sprinkles.  Count 22 days from the first sprinkles, and that’s when rainy season starts.  It is as scientific as measuring caterpillar bands, but it keeps us occupied.

This year it worked.  Right on schedule, three days ago, it started raining and has hardly stopped since.

It’s amazing how fast things have greened up.  The garden in front of the house and the park look better already.

The remolinos have also stopped.  We don’t get tornados (but who knows, with the changing weather, what’s next).  We do get huge dust devils though, a couple hundred feet high.  From atop our hill in the dry season, you can always see two or three tan whirlwinds spinning through the valley.  They generally aren’t strong enough to do great damage, but they can tear off an awning or send the garbage pail flying.  I watched a remolino pass over a paper-filled dumpster once, and it looked like a ticker-tape parade.  The same whirlwind ripped the corrugated metal roof off a house.

Our little house in the country gets hit by remolinos a three or four times a year, and it is dramatic.  You wouldn’t believe how much dust they can drop in the 10 seconds or so it takes for them to pass.

Anytime is a great time to visit us in Mexico, but if we have our choice, we like to travel in June through November.  The highs are in the 80’s, lows in the 50’s, and there are always some clouds.  Unless you are at the beach, clear skies every day can wear you out fast.  It rains three or four times a week these months, and the storms are wondrously dramatic, with lots of thunder and lightning.  But they usually last about an hour, and then people are out and about again and the weather is very pleasant.

Plant and animal life is much more interesting in the rainy season, too.  The swarming beetles are back (see previous post) and orchids will be flowering in the Primavera forest soon.

The downside to rainy season, as I’ve mentioned in the past, is that not all of our roads are up to it.  When it floods (which is frequently) the water often washes away stretches of road.  Huge potholes appear everywhere, and cement manhole covers are pushed up by water pressure in the drainage pipes, marked by three-foot high fountains in the middle of the street.  Of course it is difficult to drive this obstacle course when it is under water and you can’t see the pits.

A hint—if you are driving on a flooded road and see a “fountain,” don’t go there.  Also if there is a branch (or a rock, or an old couch) in the middle of the road, same advice.  There is a major hole there, and kind folks are bringing it to your attention.

Best advice—take it slow.  Be very careful of underpasses, where the water is deeper.  And don’t underestimate currents.  Temporary “rivers” often cross the road, and many flood deaths occur when the waters wash a car into a canal or under a bridge.

We still love rainy season.  It is a great time to be here!

Dan and Omar

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A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.