The climate of Mexico
According to the Köppen climate classification Mexico has a large
diversity in climate types. All of which can be divided into tropical
(A), desert/steppe (B) and maritime/Mediterranean/continental (C)
climates. The northern part of Mexico mainly has desert and steppe
climates. Several small regions in the most north western part of
Mexico, the coastal areas and several small regions in the northern
part of Mexico have a Mediterranean climate. Central Mexico has
several types of continental climate; some parts have a cold steppe
climate. The southern part of Mexico has several tropical climate
types, the largest part has a tropical savannah climate. Several small
regions in the south have a monsoon climate or even a tropical
rainforest climate (type Af).
Climate information of places and areas in Mexico
The climate information on this page is only brief. Specific
information about weather and climate can be found on the climate
pages per area or town. As for Mexico the following climate
information is available:
Tropical rainforest climate
Some parts of Mexico are tropical with temperatures of 30 degrees
Celsius during the day; temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius during
the night and reasonably high precipitation figures. These areas are
situated south of the city of Veracruz and west of the city of
Tampico. Tampico comes from the Huastek (Wastek) tampiko and means:
‘place of the otter’. This is because the city is surrounded by
lagoons where many otters live. The Eastern Sierra Madre mountain
range causes depressions to remain stationary in the Tamaulipas region
which means there is a fairly high amount of rainfall. In this area
precipitation falls all year round. Other Mexican regions have a
distinct wet and dry season. There are also regions within Mexico that
get little annual precipitation. The southern parts of the Veracruz
state and the Chiapas state have a tropical climate. This type of
climate can also be found in the northern part of the state of Oaxaca
and in parts of the state of Tabasco. All of these areas are situated
in the southern part of Mexico.
Different tropical climates
The southern parts of Mexico that don’t have a tropical rainforest
climate almost always have a tropical savannah climate or a tropical
monsoon climate. Along the Western Sierra Madre mountain range in the
western part of Mexico there is a tropical climate. North of the city
of Tepic this type of climate gradually changes into a warm steppe
climate (type Bsh); and even further north into a warm desert climate
(type BWh). The tropical climate on the Yucatan peninsula is
characterized by a distinct dry period with few precipitation during
the winter and a wet periods from June till November with a risk of
hurricanes and tropical storms. September is the wettest month on
Yucatan with 200-350 millimeters of precipitation. In combination with
high temperatures (32-33 degrees Celsius) and high humidity figures
this causes the summer to be very muggy. Directly along the coast the
sea wind offers some cooling. However, with these temperatures and
humidity figures the cooling effect is minimal.
Mexico is an ideal winter sun destination. Winters are sunnier,
slightly colder and especially drier than summers. Cities such as
Cancun and Playa del Carmen can best be visited from December till
April. However, this period is also more expensive because many
Americans come here to celebrate Christmas and enjoy their spring
break vacations. After the high seasons many airlines often offer
special last minutes. However, you’ll have to be in luck in terms of
Mexico is a large country with a large diversity in types of climates;
this becomes clear when you realize that some areas have a tropical
rainforest climate while other parts may get snow. The central part in
the north, bordering America gets snowfall on a regular basis. This is
caused by cold air coming from the Rocky Mountains causing cold and
snow. The highest mountain peaks more to the south may also get snow.
In extreme circumstances the tropical areas may even get snow.
Tampico, which is situated in an area with a tropical climate gets
snow once every 100 years on average.
During hurricane season from June till November there is a risk of
hurricanes and tropical storms on the Yucatan peninsula where popular
seaside resorts such as Playa del Carmen and Cancun are situated.
However, how high the risk of bad weather is cannot be easily
predicted. During some seasons there are no hurricanes and there
hardly are any storms in this part of the Caribbean; during other
seasons several hurricanes may hit this region. Whereas other
phenomena such as earthquakes and tsunamis are hard to predict
hurricanes can be predicted more easily. Whenever a hurricane moves
toward Mexico there is enough time to take precautions such as
evacuations. There is also a risk of hurricanes in the western coastal
areas along the North Eastern Pacific. Hurricane activity is fairly
high here. However, most hurricanes will have weakened to a tropical
depression before making landfall. In some cases cities such as Puerto
Vallarta and Acapulco may get hit by a hurricane or a tropical
A large part of Mexico consists of Mountains. Only the coastal areas
and the Yucatan peninsula are lower than 200 meters above sea level.
The Mexican high plains, where the capital of Mexico City is situated
cover about one third of the entire country and stretch out to the
United States. The northern part with an average altitude of
1,500-1,800 meters has a cold steppe climate. The southern part with
an average altitude of 2,000-2,500 meters has a cold steppe climate
that changes into a continental climate in the higher regions. The
Trans Mexican volcanic area forms the south border of the high plains
and mainly consists of volcanoes with an altitude up to 5,500 meters.
This terrain is very rugged and mountainous with little vegetation
with the exception of the southern slopes. South of the Mexican high
plains the southern Sierra Madre is situated. This region mainly has a
It is impossible to show climate figures for Mexico because the
climate is so diverse. The figures below are long time weather and
climate records for River Maya. Tourist destinations such as Cancun
and Playa del Carmen are situated here. Because the climate of Mexico is
so diverse please go to the individual pages for climate information
on other places and regions in Mexico and use them as a reference.
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate
information per month. The information below is an average the Riviera
Maya on the Yucatan peninsula including the places Cancun, Playa del
Carmen and Tulum.
Please visit the individual pages for climate information on other
places and regions in Mexico and use them as a reference.
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.