Annual Weather Patterns
Updated: May 31, 2019
Puerto Vallarta has a tropical climate with both extreme wet seasons and dry seasons. Year-round highs in the mid-80’s are for certain, thanks to the proximity to the equator. The weather is often compared to Hawaii, which is on the same latitude as Puerto Vallarta.
The difference in the heat between the summer and winter months is less temperature and more humidity. During the autumn, winter, and even spring months, Puerto Vallarta enjoys low humidity and very little rain. The summer months, around July – September, the humidity is higher and rains are frequent. The more humidity in the atmosphere the hotter the air feels to the skin, so with very little temperature change year-round in Puerto Vallarta, the summer months can ‘feel’ much hotter.
Puerto Vallarta sees very few extreme storms and hurricanes because of its location on the Bay of Banderas and Sierra Mountains protecting the area. It’s not uncommon for hurricanes to pass Puerto Vallarta offshore, just enough to bring some heavy rains, but landfall of hurricanes in the area are virtually nonexistent. Pacific Hurricanes typically form on the southern coast of Oaxaca and travel west into the Pacific, in the later months of hurricane season, they tend to track more north along the coastline and into Baja California.
The dry season in Puerto Vallarta typically runs between November and May, with the rainy season running June to October.
Rainfall increases very dramatically in June and peaks from July through September with 70% of days recording rainfall during that time period. From November to May, Puerto Vallarta records one rainy day a month, if we are lucky.
Puerto Vallarta Weather is better than other beach resorts in Mexico during the winter months when it rains less frequently and maintains lower temperatures and humidity. For many, it is the best time because it is not very hot and it does not rain like it often does in places like Cancun and Veracruz.
Weather fronts are constant on the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, affecting beach destinations in those regions, including those of the Mexican Caribbean. Cold fronts generate “nortes,” strong winds blowing along the Mexican coast of the Gulf of Mexico during the winter.
However, in Puerto Vallarta, and generally a large part of the Mexican Pacific coast, the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Pacific Ocean function as shields, preventing the cold from reaching our destination, just as they prevent hurricanes and strong storms in the summer.
The maximum temperature in the winter is around 30 degrees centigrade, or 85 Fahrenheit, and the minimum in 19C, or 65F with clear skies, rains during the winter months are rare.
The surface sea temperature in the region is 26C/78F in the winter and up to 10 degrees warmer in the summer, excellent for water activities, while in some coastal areas of the Mexican Gulf and Mexican Caribbean the waters are much colder, even in the southern part of the Peninsula of Baja California (Los Cabos and La Paz) water temperatures drop to 22C in the sea and 16C degrees in the air.