We are often asked what the climate is in Puerto Vallarta and if we are affected by hurricanes that come roaring up the Pacific coastline. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, considered the most reliable globally, identifies Puerto Vallarta as tropical. The categories that determine this are how close we are to the equator and plant classification. Scientifically speaking, this is a jungle with a prominent rainy season and exposure to unpredictable weather conditions.
In our experience, the period from November to June is normally very dry. Did we say normal? The past couple years we have experienced the same global climate changes as the rest of the world and torrential downpours have changed viewpoints of many tourists who planned week-long vacations from December to February, when we had measurable rain. While we feel dreadfully sorry for those whose holidays were rained out, we also are extremely grateful. The summer of 2015 has proven there can quite often be a reversal in these predictions, with a minimal amount of precipitation, overloading in early September to cause major flooding. We are inclined to lean very hard in the direction of Climate Change.
High tides also have an impact on the area and if combined with stormy weather off the coast and a substantial rainfall, can be cause for carrying an umbrella and an extra pair of flip-flops.
Puerto Vallarta is on the same latitude as Hawaii and therefore the weather is expected to be much the same but there is a large body of water between the two places where many changes take place in very short distances. Trying to determine averages has been more of a crapshoot for reliable forecasts.
The last hurricane to strike Puerto Vallarta was Kenna in October 2002 and impacted only the immediate shoreline. Warnings came a day ahead, and though many failed to take it seriously, there were no deaths and few injuries.
How to make a plan? First, remember that no matter how wet it is, it will still be warm. It seems that it’s not just the winter months anymore, so if preparing for a wedding or other major celebration that calls for a large gathering of people, make sure there is an alternate venue. Hotels have an abundance of covered spaces, indoor and outside with grand vistas of the beach and ocean. It’s always wise to pack a light jacket, sweater or shawls to cover up in the evening.
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