Intellicast's Climate Guide To Mexico

Sharing a common border throughout its northern extent with the United States, Mexico is bounded on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, and on the southeast by Guatemala and Belize. Roughly triangular in shape, Mexico covers an area of 756,066 square miles. While it is more than 1,850 miles across the country from northwest to southeast, the width varies from less than 135 miles at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to more than 1,200 miles in the north.

Mexico has a vast wealth of mineral resources, a limited amount of agricultural land, and a rapidly growing population. More than half of the people live in the central core, while vast areas of the arid North and the tropical South are sparsely settled.

Well over half of this rugged but beautiful country is high terrain, either mountains or plateau. The country has a rather sunny but otherwise highly-varied climate.

The northwestern coast of Mexico, extending down to the tip of Baja, California, has an arid climate not unlike that of the southwestern United States, thanks to the cold California Current.

On the eastside of Mexico, the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, together with the prevailing northeast trade winds, bring a tropical climate with distinct summer rainfall.

In the northeastern part of the country near the United States border, winter can bring occasional "northers" that bring cold temperatures and even on occasions some snow. Snow can even fall as far south as Tampico, which lies within the tropics. On December 12, 1997, an extremely rare, major snowstorm occurred in northeast Mexico. Snow was even reported down to 600-700 feet elevation near the Tropic of Cancer. During this storm’s scenario, Monterrey, Mexico was 95 degrees on Tuesday and 82 degrees on Wednesday. Then a "norther" blew in with rapidly falling temperatures (on Thursday, Dec. 12) which was followed by moderate snow on Friday morning. Some locations in northeastern and central Mexico that never before saw snow, received 6-12 inches of accumulation with 1 to 2 feet at higher elevations!

Tropical systems in both the eastern Tropical Pacific and the Atlantic Basin/Caribbean can affect Mexico. Tropical systems forming in the eastern Tropical Pacific pose a threat to the Southwestern and Western Coast. They typically do the most damage to the South and Southwest Coast. If these storms take a more northerly track, they often weaken as they move over cooler water (warm water increases a storm’s intensity). In El Nino years however, the water along the West Coast tends to be warmer, therefore storms gather energy and pose a much more significant threat to the North Coast. In La Nina summers, the water tends to be cooler than normal along the far eastern Pacific, thus the number and strength of tropical storms decreases.

On the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico side, tropical storms and hurricanes feed off of very warm water and therefore are very powerful when they make landfall. The hurricane seasons here tend to be most active during La Nina years and least active during El Nino years, which is the opposite of the situation in the Pacific.

As indicated, much of Mexico is sunny much of the year. Low clouds and fog can affect the coastal areas on the Northwest Coast, thanks to the cold California Current. The wetter parts of the Mexican East Coast are also rather cloudy.

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average # Rain Days Average Rainfall
January 27°F -3°C
42°F 6°C
66°F 19°C
74°F 23°C
4 0.5 inches 13 mm
February 29°F -2°C
43°F 6°C
69°F 21°C
81°F 27°C
5

0.2 inches 5 mm

March 34°F 1°C
47°F 8°C
75°F 24°C
84°F 24°C
9 0.4 inches 10 mm
April 33°F 1°C
51°F 11°C
77°F 25°C
90°F 32°C
14 0.8 inches 20 mm
May 43°F 6°C
54°F 12°C
78°F 26°C
89°F 32°C
17 2.1 inches 53 mm
June 49°F 9°C
55°F 13°C
76°F 24°C
87°F 31°C
21 4.7 inches 119 mm
July
47°F 8°C
53°F 12°C
73°F 23°C
83°F 28°C
27 6.7 inches 170 mm
August 49°F 9°C
54°F 12°C
73°F 23°C
81°F 27°C
27 6.0 inches 152 mm
September 34°F 1°C
53°F 12°C
74°F 23°C
78°F 26°C
23 5.1 inches 130 mm
October 35°F 2°C
50°F 10°C
70°F 21°C
78°F 26°C
13 2.0 inches 51 mm
November 36°F 2°C
46°F 8°C
68°F 20°C
77°F 25°C
6 0.7 inches 18 mm
December 32°F 0°C
43°F 6°C
66°F 19°C
73°F 23°C
4 0.3 inches 8 mm

 

ACAPULCO

Acapulco is a popular winter resort on the Tropical Pacific Coast of Mexico, known for its fine beaches, luxury hotels and villas, and deep-sea fishing.

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average # Rain Days Average Rainfall
January 52°F 11°C
72°F 22°C
88°F 31°C
97°F 36°C
1 0.2 inches 6 mm
February 64°F 18°C
72°F 22°C
88°F 31°C
97°F 36°C
0

0.0 inches 1 mm

March 64°F 18°C
72°F 22°C
88°F 31°C
100°F 38 °C
0 0.0 inches 0 mm
April 64°F 18°C
73°F 23°C
90°F 32°C
99°F 37°C
0 0.0 inches 1 mm
May 68°F 20°C
77°F 25°C
90°F 32°C
106°F 41°C
3 1.4 inches 36 mm
June 70°F 21°C
77°F 25°C
91°F 33°C
99°F 37°C
13 11.1 inches 281 mm
July
70°F 21°C
77°F 25°C
90°F 32°C
100°F 38°C
14 10.1 inches 256 mm
August 70°F 21°C
77°F 25°C
90°F 32°C
99°F 37°C
13 9.9 inches 252 mm
September 68°F 20°C
75°F 24°C
90°F 32°C
99°F 37°C
16 13.8 inches 349 mm
October 70°F 21°C
75°F 24°C
90°F 32°C
99°F 37°C
9 6.3 inches 159 mm
November 66°F 19°C
73°F 23°C
90°F 32°C
99°F 37°C
2 1.1 inches 28 mm
December 52°F 11°C
72°F 22°C
88°F 31°C
106°F 41°C
1 0.3 inches 8 mm
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