El Clima

It is officially fall in Mexico City, and there is a noticeable chill in the air. But the weather has been strange for months now – and it’s definitely thrown me for a loop.

You may recall in my Top Ten Mexico City post of last January, I noted “The weather” (el clima) as one of the ten things I liked most about Mexico City. Chingado, was I wrong.

Mexico City and the surround central highlands are considered “high desert.” For the altitude (roughly 7,300 feet above sea level), this implies chilly nights and mornings, pleasantly warm afternoons, and lots of glorious sunshine to break through the thick layer of smog. And almost no rain. This holds true from November through mid-May, but something daffy happens every summer. Starting sometime in late May or early June, it’ll rain in the afternoons – usually around 4 p.m. – and quick thunderstorms will strike. You wouldn’t want to be atop Teotihuacán’s Pyramid of the Sun, say, during this time. The rain seldom lasts more than an hour, and the next morning is dry and sunny until noontime clouds roll in and the sky opens up that afternoon. The rain might hold off for a day or two here and there but in general, it’s as regular as clockwork.

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Top Ten Mexico City

I love top ten lists. Call me a geek if you want, it’s okay. Whatever the list, if it’s a top ten something, there’s a good chance I’ll read it. I probably have read it. Top ten Presidential quotes. Top ten “Seinfeld” episodes. Top ten ballparks. Top ten Chicago hot dog shacks. Top ten one-hit wonders (yes, 80’s emo band A-ha is in there). Top ten movies of the year. Top ten movies by genre.

And don’t even get me started on travel top ten lists. Lonely Planet has dozens of them. Travel + Leisure has dozens more. From “Top Ten Places to Ring in the New Year” to “Top Ten Multi-Day Hikes” to “Top Ten Places for Wildlife Watching,” you really can pick your poison. (Note: If I named any of those without crediting the actual publication in which they appeared, please accept my apologies. I really just pulled ‘em out of thin air.)

For my blogging (and your reading) pleasure, here’s my own top ten list – city-specific, to keep the list manageable.

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