Weather2018-09-20T10:46:50+00:00

Lake Chapala Seasons and Temperatures

We enjoy subtle Seasons in Lake Chapala

In Lake Chapala we do have subtle seasons but no extremes. Throughout the year the mornings and evenings are cooler, great for tennis, golf or taking the walking trail up the mountains to the Little Chapel or the Old Burial Grounds.

The Lake sits about 5200 feet (1584.96 meters) above sea level so we get virtually no humidity. The triple mountain range surrounding the lake protects the area from prevailing northerly winds creating this excellent micro climate we so enjoy. The effects of the lake and mountains ensure that temperatures are pleasantly warm year ’round, averaging 23.34 Celsius (74 o Fahrenheit).

Summary – Average monthly temperatures and rainfall (degrees Fahrenheit and Inches):

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High Temp. 75 77 80 84 86 83 79 79 78 79 78 76
Low Temp. 46 48 50 54 58 61 60 60 59 55 49 47
Precipitation 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.3 1.0 6.3 9.7 7.6 5.8 2.3 0.4 0.5

This series of pictures by Lakeside resident and photographer Bernd Peter Sawatzki shows how the dry season’s browning dryness transforms into the green, lush foliage during the rainy season.

The Dry Season

October to May is pretty much the Dry Season where we experience little or no rain.

Our fall is October and November and is a beautiful time of the year. The rains are mostly over and the mountains are still lush emerald green. Days and evenings are warm and until mid to late November, there is no need for even a sweater in the evening.

December and January are what we call our winter months.  Of course the days are sunny and warm and T-shirts and shorts can be worn most days.  Mornings and evenings are a little cooler and you’ll likely need a jacket or sweater.  To give you an idea of how cold it doesn’t get, the majority of our restaurants in Lake Chapala are indoor/ outdoor.  On a cool evening they may put on the fire and turn on one or two of those tall restaurant heaters and that seems to do the trick.

Jacaranda-TreeFebruary and March boast ideal weather conditions and a special bonus: the ever beautiful Jacaranda tree which bursts into purple bloom in early February and the blooms are falling off towards the end of March. It is said to be good luck if a purple blossum falls on you while you walk under a tree. Perhaps we appreciate this purple beauty so much because of the limited time it graces our presence each year.

April and May are our hot and dry months with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s with nighttime lows just under 60 o. Fortunately it is the sun not the air that is hot. When you step in the shade you can feel at least a ten degree difference, so we are always comfortable, no matter the time of year.

Mexico uses Metric

Mexico uses Celsius (Centigrade) Thermometer
Fahrenheit Celsius
0 o equals 18 o
32 o water freezes 0 o
50 o cool weather 10 o
68 o moderate weather 20 o
88 o hot weather 30 o

Rainy Season

June to September is the rainy season and once the rains start the temperature can drop ten degrees or more. For many of us, this is our favorite time of the year. By May the mountains are dry and grey and once the rains begin you can practically watch them turn green before your eyes and before long the hills are filled with wild flowers and are lush, lush green.

The rains usually start between the 1st and 15th of June. Our first signal that the rains are imminent is when we hear the “rain birds” calling for the rain, about five to six weeks in advance.

Sunset-Storm-Lake-Chapala

As if the thunder and lightning weren’t spectacular enough, wait till you see the magnificent sunsets. The sun shining through the black and white clusters of fluffy clouds is a picture no camera can do justice to.

Fall (October and November) is a sensational time of the year. The rains have stopped, the air is fresh, everything is sparkling clean and the hillsides and gardens are a mixture of emerald green and vibrant colors – all sorts of flowers, plants and flowering trees. Truly a gardener’s paradise.

Annual rainfall is around 34 inches with about 32 inches occuring during the four months of rainy season. On occasion, during the eight-month dry season, we can have the odd rain shower, but they are few and far between and don’t usually have the same intensity as in the rainy season.

For the first couple of weeks, we experience wind with the rains. Sometimes, the skies over the lake will blacken and rolling thunder will trumpet a torrential downpour – a memorable sight and sound show. It is spectacular. Thunder and lightning show across the lake and over the mountains – better than watching anything on TV. It usually only rains at night and seldom interferes with any planned activity. The following morning is usually warm and sunny.

In these summer evenings (rainy season), you may need a light jacket or sweater, but the days are usually beautiful. The last few years we have been getting an abundance of rain; bringing our lake from the low level of about 30% of its capacity to over 70% so for those of us living here, we say, “Let it rain.”

The best way to experience the weather is to come to Lake Chapala for yourself! We invite you to experience the beauty, colors, people, food and everything Lakeside!

What’s the Weather Really Like at Lake Chapala?

What’s the weather like in the Lake Chapala area? How does it affect our lives here?

At approx. 5,000 ft. above sea level, surrounded by mountains, and with the Lake, our area has only a moderate temperature variation from month to month and season to season.

January through March our highs run from 76 to 81 degrees F. and the lows from 47 to 50 F. The rains are very slight from 0.2 to 0.5 inches.

April through June the highs run from 83 to 86 degrees F. and the lows from 54 to 61 degrees F. The rains continue light in April and May but increase dramatically in June to 6.3 inches on average.

July through September the highs run from 78 to 79 degrees F. and the lows from 59 top 60 degrees F. The rains continue heavy in July at 9.7 inches down to 5.8 inches in September.

October through December the highs run from 79 in October to 76 in December. The lows run from 55 F. in October to 47 F. in December. The rains taper off from 2.3 inches in October to 0.5 inches in December.

While the average temperature in Guadalajara may be nearly the same; the highs are higher and the lows lower there compared to our area.

In other words, we are much more comfortable here at Lake Chapala in both the winter and summer than our nearby friends in Guadalajara. We also have moderate humidity most of the year.

With the clean mountain air, the perfect year-round weather which encourages outdoor activities, and the fresh local food most North Americans who move here lose 15 pounds or so without really trying to do so. No promises OK?

Another by-product of the wonderful weather is that we save a bunch on utilities here since we rarely need to heat or cool our homes artificially.

Warning: We regulate the temperature of our homes by how many windows and or doors we have open or closed.

Knowing this and knowing that most of the developments are located on the Northern shores of Lake Chapala that North Americans are interested in it’s a good idea to consider that the wind patterns are to and from the lake.

This means that it’s best to orient your home to take advantage of the breezes to and from the lake which generally means that your windows and doors should be on the North and South sides of your home if possible to enjoy the best breezes.

Homes oriented where the windows and doors are on the West and East side of the home due to neighboring property walls on the North and South sides often have open interior atriums to allow light and air to enter and exit the home. In such homes ceiling fans would be a wise investment.

The Lake has a wonderful moderating influence on our high and low temperature here at Lake Chapala Ajijic giving us a perfect micro climate year around. Why not come see for yourself?

Written by Sid Grosvenor

A Colonial Foothold in Mexico


A large proportion of foreigners purchasing property in Mexico choose to make their investment at one of Mexico’s many fine beach locations: with over six thousand miles of sea-facing land, there is ample diversity for those who want to live near the water. However, there exists another option when you’re searching for a property foothold in Mexico: a collection of beautifully-preserved colonial towns and cities.

Most of Mexico’s colonial cities are situated at altitudes above 5,000 feet. This means that you can expect cooler and more temperate climates in these places than you’ll experience on the coasts where, particularly in the spring and summer months, temperatures and humidity soar.

During late fall and throughout the winter, early mornings, evenings, and nights are cooler in colonial cities–even chilly in some higher places that may require the warmth of a fireplace or other heating system. The spring and fall climates are ideal in most of Mexico’s colonial cities, featuring temperate ambience with occasional rainfalls between otherwise undisturbed sunlight, shining across crisp and deep azure-blue skies.

The late spring and summer months in Mexico’s colonial cities are warm and can get quite hot. Most regions experience monsoon rains between May and October each year; these often take the form of torrential afternoon or evening downpours which cool the high summer temperatures and make the local flora and fauna burst into life.

Which colonial cities are people moving to? ‘Expat enclaves’ including San Miguel de Allende and Ajijic/Chapala have been popular with foreign residents for decades, and their lure and appeal is still attractive to many who visit and make of these places their home, full or part-time.

Many foreigners looking for a foothold in colonial Mexico are researching alternative places to those well-trodden towns, and a few which have been rising in popularity of late include Merida, Campeche, Guanajuato, Queretaro, Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas, Morelia (and nearby Patzcuaro), and Puebla.

Colonial cities offer (generally speaking) lower property prices than equivalent land and homes situated at popular beach towns and resorts. This is primarily due to market demand. It’s also worth keeping in mind that colonial property markets don’t generate the same amount of sales turnover that popular seaside resorts do, so if you buy land or property in a colonial city in Mexico, it might take longer to sell. You can learn all about property purchase and ownership in Mexico here on Mexperience.

If you’re looking for a long-term investment and a foothold in Mexico that will provide you with a stable home, a wonderful climate, good access by road with airports not far away; a lower cost of living than the US, Canada and Europe; and a place where you can be surrounded by culture and heritage, do some research here on Mexperience to learn about Mexico’s colonial cities and then go and experience a few of them in person. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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