Many people assume that the weather in Mexico City is simple - year long sunshine and soaring high temperatures, but this is not always the case.
Image credit: Flickr kc_aplosweb
The city features a subtropical climate, due to the fact it lies within the Valley of Mexico, sitting atop a plateau. The tropical location and high altitude, over 2,000 metres above sea level, means the weather is not as cut and dry as you would expect.
The city enjoys mild weather all year with extremely hot summers during the dry season that runs from October to May. The temperature is cranked up a notch due to the humidity in the city centre. With huge crowds and large amounts of traffic, the sticky heat can be overpowering on occasions. Although the city receives very little rainfall during these months, when it rains, it pours. Dense bursts of precipitation that include hail will come as quickly as they go, without warning.
June sees the beginning of the rainy season, which runs through until September. On average, expect rain once a day at the very least. But the rain will often not last for longer than an hour or so, with heavy, flash showers much more likely. Some areas of the city are liable to flooding with inadequate drainage systems in place. But the temperature remains reasonably high and once again, the humidity that is brought about before and after the showers can result in a clammy, sticky atmosphere. Remember the lower reaches of the valley receive a lot less rainfall that the southern upper regions.
Mexico City experiences cool and mild temperatures in the morning and late evening so it is advisable to carry a jacket with you as things feel a lot chillier at these times of day compared to the afternoon. Buildings are unlikely to feature central heating so make sure you wrap up during the cold nights. With rain and showers a real risk, packing a light anorak in your bag could save you from a potential soaking.
Another point to note is that natural disasters can be a problem in Mexico. An established hurricane season runs between June and November and you are advised to check weather forecasts before you travel or ensure you take precautions with you to avoid a ruined trip.
Image credit: Flickr golo