Travel

Weather in the Tropics
When to Come to Veracruz

Photos and Text by John Todd, Jr.

Tropical Trade Winds
A Note About the Weather... And the Best Time to Come to Veracruz
The other day, I was looking at the Weather Channel averages about the weather, and noticed while their statistics are averages, they are not exactly right.

The Hottest Time of the Year:
March Through Mid-June

The hottest time of the year is from March to about mid June when the monsoon rains begin. During this time, I have seen heat factors of 120 degrees.

These are days when you pray for a norte to cool things off.

The Rainy Season:
Mid-June through October

When the rainy season begins around mid June, the weather becomes cooler and average temperatures are 90-95 degrees.
A Rainy Day
Rainy Days
The rainy season is produced by tropical waves that begin in Africa and cross our area every 2 or 3 days.

The rains here are between 4AM and 6AM. They are heavy and leave the city streets clean by dawn.

The countryside becomes green and lush and the temperatures are moderate, not like the heat waves in the north of Mexico.

The summers here in Veracruz are actually milder than in the north.
Juicy Mangos
The Best Time for Fruit and Vegetables
In June through August, seasonal fruit like juicy mangos and jamaica juice are at their best.

School children are on vacation from about mid July to around the end of August because they get a lot of holidays during the year.
The Beach at Villa del Mar
When to Expect the Crowds
There are 3 times during the year when you can expect crowds, full hotels and restaurants: Itīs Christmas, Easter Week, and Carnaval.

Although there are plenty of hotels and restaurants, they are overwhelmed with the crowds of people. Traffic is a mess, too.

The rest of the year you will have Veracruz all to yourself, and will get good service just about everywhere and your business will be appreciated by the people here.
The Beach at Mocambo
"Nortes"
A "Norte" is a cold front. By the time one of these cold fronts gets to Veracruz, itīs usually not all that cold, but because of the nearby mountains the high pressure is funneled into the narrow land area between the mountains and the sea, which is here.

They can last from 12 hours to 2 or 3 days. The winds can be as high as 150 kph and sand blows everywhere.

Stop lights sometimes donīt work and palm fronds and coconuts, and even trees fall and sometimes traffic becomes a mess.

The wind is less intense as you get away from the coast. In the mountains, say around Xalapa, there isnīt much wind and it rains.

The "Norte" season is from about October to May 3 (according to local folklore). From my own experience, the intense nortes are in November and December.

Hurricanes and Hurricane Season
Hurricane season officially is from April to November, but hurricanes donīt hit the port of Veracruz like they do in other places around the Gulf of Mexico. Itīs because when they track across the Yucatan Peninsula, the usually go straight for the northern part of the state of Veracruz or further north into Texas.

Before the mild Category I Hurricane Stan came ashore south of Veracruz at Playa Hermosa, Montepío, and Catemaco, I think the last hurricane to hit Veracruz was Janet in 1952 or so, and another one in 1926.

If you want to know more about active hurricanes, and the latest bulletins from the Miami Hurricane Center, check with Hurricane City.com. This is my favorite real time Satellite Image of the Gulf of Mexico.

On the Beach at Mocambo
January through March
The temperatures during these months are nice and it is the end of the dry season.

The lush countryside dies out turns yellow.

Not a good time to take pictures of green countrysides like during the rainy season.

You can expect a "Norte" every 4 or 5 days.

You can go to the beach any time.
A Chair at Mocambo
The Best Weather Months:
Late October to Mid December

The best weather months are about October to December.

The weather is cool and slightly crisp and you need to bring a light jacket. In the mountains, it gets cold and it freezes in some places.

This is my own favorite time of the year to go sit on the beach, read my latest book, "The Spanish Sea" by Robert Weddle.

Sometimes a ship passes by in the distance, and in the back of my mind I remember in a couple of more days I may have to go back to work.

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