It’s noon here at Lake Chapala and it’s raining, pouring, actually these last 10 minutes or so.
I know, I know, someone told you it only rained here at night…before you start trying to send a sizzling email to city hall or the chamber of commerce, or to me for that matter, let me explain.
Most of our June – October rainy season, that’s a true statement. After a comfortable, sunshiny day, the clouds bank up, roll in and either around 7:30 or in the wee hours of the night, the thunder and lightening commences and then the heavens open to let the rain pour down . We sleep like babes – the temperature is cool enough to need a blanket and there’s that comforting sound of raindrops on the roof.
SO, What’s the Deal Today?
About the only time we have clouds, rain, thunder, drizzle or other “weather” in daylight hours is when a tropical storm is working on either the Atlantic or Pacific coasts – pushing masses of humidity ahead of their huge systems. When that warm moist beach air is driven by the seasonal storms over the mountain ranges, the air cools, the water condenses and well – it rains – in the daylight – in front of God, tourists and everybody.
In this region of Mexico where a weatherman (in any language) is as hard to find as larger size clothes and shoes, how are you supposed to know when these systems are moving our way?
I’m glad you asked.
To keep track of tropical systems that are building, on the move, increasing in power, diminishing, or just plain stalled and funneling warm moist air into our area, bookmark this Weather Channel Map – it shows current storms heading for Mexico.
How do you locate Lake Chapala and our state of Jalisco on this map? The coastal portion of Jalisco is most of that widest bump on the west (left) coast – then it extends inland – to the north east (up and to the right). That’s where we are!
Thankfully this morning the warnings and watches for this system -- Tropical Storm Blass were diminished – backing the category of the storm back to a Tropical Depression.
Still, though there’s a good chance that we’ll continue to see rain – at night and even in the daytime – for the next few days. As you can see by this map, updated at 1:18 p.m. Lakeside time, there’s still a considerable amount of activity in this system – look at all of those orange and red areas indicating stronger cells.
I’m no meteorologist, but I’ve seen enough weather maps to predict that there’s more weather heading our way for the next few days. You can bet that we’ll have rain for as long as those orange and red spots are moving our way. That little downpour at noon was the effect of that “L” shaped small cell that you can see right over our area. Looks like there is much heavier rain to come.
Guadalajara’s Weather is Different
By the way, if you are visiting family north of the border or not yet moved here, don’t depend on the typical online temperature boxes – you know the ones – you can put on your home page and you see them on some of the Mexico-based websites. They show the high and low temperature for “Chapala," and sometimes a three or five-day weather forecast.
The truth is that most of those services are actually putting the numbers registered on thermometers and rain gauges in Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque or the airport under the “Chapala” heading.
That’ll give you a false impression for sure. Giant Lake Chapala at 55 miles long and 11 miles wide has a distinct effect on the weather here. Our hot season (April, May and early June) temperatures run 8 – 15 degrees cooler than Guadalajara. In the winter cold time (Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day) the lake works its magic to keep us from being Guadalajara’s low temperatures – easily 10 degrees colder than we register here.
SO, how can you know what our REAL weather is like? Bookmark the local weather site, Chapala Weather. You’ll find an entire weather system at your fingertips, with none of the problems. You don’t even have to empty the rain gauge. Plus, this weather-obsessed resident of Riberas del Pilar (between San Antonio Tlayacapan and Chapala even has the stats you love to know – how much did it rain last night, what’ the year’s high and low temps, and how do they compare to last year’s hottest and coldest times, what percentage of this year’s rain has fallen, what’s the humidity, what’s the barometer doing.
Good Grief, he’s even keeping track of the dew point and the wind gust speeds. Everything you wanted to know about Lake Chapala’s weather, all in one handy spot – and it’s accurate!
Now that we know that this is going to be the way of the world for the next couple of days, I think I’ll head for the couch and alternate watching movies on my new TV and reading. Popcorn anyone?