Rainy Season Begins in Central America
The rainy season in Central America begins in May and lasts until September or October. Traveling is still possible as, outside of genuine storms, the rains tend to come in torrential downpours that only last for a couple of hours at around the same time each day.
SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- The evening has now usurped the day, the sky is growing dim — it is that deep blue that gently dissolves into black. The transformation of day into night. There are a few clouds spread across the sky, but they appear to lack any sign of maliciousness. There is little indication that it will rain, but I know that in around a half hour the skies will break open and a violent crash of water will fall upon my thin, corrugated plastic roof and lightning will cut through the sky.
For I know that it is now the rainy season in Central America, and the rain comes at nearly the same time each night: the rain comes just as night closes up the day. Like so, torrential downpours are a very timely and consistent dinner guest.
It will rain at 6:30 PM tonight. This is a given.
It is still raining.
The seasons of the tropics often function as clockwork. I remember being amazed at the consistency of rain fall during my first bits of travel through the tropics. I was in the jungle of Peru, it rained at the same time, everyday. You could set your clock to it, in fact. The day would be sunny and without a cloud anywhere, and then rain time would come, and wash out the dryness of the day. The rain would always come at the same time. I found this to be a rule for my travels in the tropics: the rain tend to fall at certain times each day during the rainy seasons.
Listen to the tropical rain
tropical-rain- This is a sound file of what the rainy season sounds like in El Salvador.
The tropical rain falls in sheets, not drops. It is more of a spilling than a pouring. A moment of exposure is enough to drench you, it is enough to make you run for cover. It is a good thing that ducking under anything in sight — under a house’s eave, a storefront, everywhere that is covered overhead — is the normal course of action. You duck from the rain and wait for it to pass, or you just don’t leave home near rain time.
One week later
The rainy season in El Salvador started out as standard: the rains would come each night and the mornings and afternoons would be relatively dry. But this rainy season has proved to be a little different: the consistency of the rain ceased abiding by its own schedule. Some nights no rain would fall, and the next day would be sweltering hot.
I am told that this region has not seen such a hot May for decades, this season is very atypical. It is the rainy season but the rains have not yet thoroughly made their mark.
So much for my observations about the consistency of tropical rain.