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Snow in Mexico

Snow in Mexico

Don’t throw away your winter coat when you move to Mexico.  You won’t need it all the time, but there are days you’ll be glad you have it.  Lots of snow just outside of Mexico City right now.

January 6, 2008

The Nevado de Colima, by Skyscrapercity

The Nevado de Colima, by Skyscrapercity

People are always surprised to learn that not all of Mexico is year around steamy tropics.  As a matter of fact, only the coastal regions and the southern states are really tropical.  Much of Central Mexico is a high plateau, and the towns there can get good and cold in winter.

Guadalajara is the same longitude as Hawaii, and a mile up.  As I’ve mentioned, National Geographic says the best climate on earth is at Johannesburg, South Africa and Guadalajara, Mexico.  We won’t argue.  Even in the hottest months (April and May) it rarely gets above 90, and then it is a dry heat, with very little humidity.  Omar never really experienced humidity until we cooked for friends one 98 degree, 100% humidity day in New York, and poured sweat into the mole sauce.

And we get cold.  Every year it goes a little below freezing.  It snowed one day a few years back, but since the cold season is also the dry season, we rarely get snow even though it is often cold enough. The thing about winter, though, is that the nights might be 30 but the days go up to 70, and are sunny and clear.  Can’t complain about that.  My folks in Upstate New York average 110 inches of snow a year and it has gone down to –44 just to the north of there, but what really gets everyone down is the dark.  You can go a month without seeing the sun.  Not so in Guadalajara.

Of course, we are having global warming, too.  Years ago the seasons were like clockwork.  Now they come weeks early or late, and it storms in the dry season.

It got cold early this year, and they’ve had lots of snow around Mexico City and in the northern states.  DF (Mexico City) is a mile and a half up, so it gets its share of cold weather.

Wouldn’t you know it, the boiler broke.  We have no heat in the house, and get by fine unless it is cold at night and cloudy during the day—then the cold seeps in and we wear our winter coats all day.  But we do need hot water.  Our boiler was a cheap model, and had to be lit when you wanted to take a shower.  Then you had to remember to turn it off.  If you forgot, the super hot water melts a lead plug in the top and the steam comes shooting out like a geyser.  I’ve seen it happen several times to other houses.

Well, the pilot never worked, and it was always a struggle for Omar to get the boiler lit.  And in September it finally died.

Now, I’m in New York with the folks, so I didn’t know about the dead boiler.  Omar went four months heating a pan of water on the stove and bathing with that.  With the house as low as 45 degrees.  We finally got enough together to buy a new boiler—one of the models that saves on gas and heats the water only as it is being used.  The old tank model was very wasteful.  Not only did we sometimes forget for an hour or two to turn the flame off, but you always had to heat up the whole tank, even only if one of us was taking a shower.  And the hot water you didn’t use got cold again.  We’re happy to go green.  We’ve also seen solar hot water heaters that run glass tubes over your roof to collect the sun’s heat, but the small models are $800 and with our luck the first hailstorm would smash the tubes to bits.

Funny thing in Guadalajara, you go from cold in February to rather hot in March and 90 in April—a big change in a small space of time.  Then the rains start in June and things get green and comfortable again.

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.