I grew up in Northwest Missouri where summer meant hot and humid weather. July and August were the “Dog Days” of summer, and when I was young, I guess I tolerated the sun and humidity because I thought a suntan was great and the garden hose was the answer to cooling down if I felt too hot. As I aged, I realized a sunburn was neither comfortable nor healthy and the hose was no longer a practical option. I’m a retired expat in Mexico now and our weather looks a whole lot different than my home in Missouri during the summer rainy season at Lake Chapala.
Summer at Lake Chapala has proven to be the ideal compromise season. What we thought of as summer in Missouri, now comes around mid-April and lasts until mid-June, when the calendar says we have officially entered the summer season. April through June is sunny and hot, but usually dry with very little humidity.
During the spring, expats and locals make vacation plans to visit the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, just a few hours away by car or bus. Around May, we eagerly await the sound of what we call the “Rain Bird,” a large homopterous insect noted for its shrill sound by the male made by vibrating membranes on the underside of its abdomen. It’s his mating call. Local tradition says the song of the Cicada announces that the rainy season will begin within six weeks.
The beauty of the rainy season at Lake Chapala, which begins around mid-June and lasts until early October, is that our days are usually sunny for outdoor activities and temperatures moderate back into the more comfortable 70s F to low 80s F range. The clouds and showers move in mostly during the early evening and frequently continue overnight. Despite this being an almost daily event, we experience only minimal humidity, mainly because of Lake Chapala’s over one-mile high elevation.
Our summer rainy season is so sublime that expats who live along the coast escape the high temperatures and sticky humidity by retreating to our area. We also witness an influx of visitors from the southern region of the United States where high temperatures combine with oppressive humidity to make summers miserable. We jokingly call them our “Sun Bird” visitors.
With nighttime showers and comfortable sleeping temperatures in the 60s F, we awake to cool and fresh air each morning during the summer rainy season at Lake Chapala. The mountain range to our north, which separates us from the sprawling metropolis of Guadalajara, is lush with green foliage from the summer rains. Our gardens are colorful with a variety of blooming flowers and trees, and birds of all description nest nearby to bring us their joyful songs that make the good life at Lake Chapala very special.
Here is a complete overview of Lake Chapala’s climate, if you want more information.