Rainy Season

We have two seasons on the Pacific coast of Panama, dry and rainy. Dry season starts about mid-December. Schools have summer vacation until early February. Rain is very unlikely and everything gets more and more dry and brown. Brush fires are common. Different trees burst out in flowers and new fruits appear. My favorites are the mariñon (cashew apples) and of course, mangoes!

The rains are supposed to come back around mid-April. In this el niño year there was talk that the rains would be delayed, even by as much as two months but thankfully this did not happen. The rains came back right on schedule.

I like the rainy season and I’m always happy to see the rain return. Everything turns green again and the rain brings welcome cooler air. Sometimes though, an amazing amount of water can come down in a short time! I took this video a few days ago during one of those epic rains but it was even more impressive in person. We have a metal roof so it’s also very loud! Don’t call me on the phone when it’s raining like this 😉

People worry about being here in the rainy season but it is actually quite easy to work around. Mornings are usually clear and bright, though there are some cloudy days. Rain comes later in the day, sometimes mid-afternoon but usually later as it gets closer to dark. (Days are pretty constant this close to the equator and dark is always shortly after 6:30PM) It may rain hard for a little while, followed by a lighter rain in the evening ending around mid-evening or bedtime.

This is just the average though. I can’t say it never rains in the morning because I am sitting here at 10:30 AM and it has been raining lightly for well over an hour. Yesterday it didn’t rain at all. But, generally, if you do your errands and outside activities in the morning you will be fine. Rainy afternoons are good for relaxing and engaging in at home activities. And, even if you do get caught in the rain, it’s warm.


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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19 Responses to Rainy Season

  1. allison says:

    Tennis today for three hours in overcast skies, humid yes, but not bright sun in my eyes or sweltering me! And a lovely breeze. So green and lush. We need a break from the blaring sun and pretty blue sky every so often. Keeps us in check 🙂


  2. Yep… we had rain up here at 8 am. Kinda of unusual for morning rain here.


  3. oldsalt1942 says:

    I’m with YOU, Kris…I much prefer the rainy season over the dry.


    • I like the dry season through the holidays so you can enjoy evening festivities without getting wet, but after that I’m over it. It could start raining again in mid January, IMO.


  4. Robert $ Helen says:

    We had a cloudy day today in Boquete. Quite chilly. Only a little rain early in the morning. We wore our body warmers. We know the heat of David quite well as we lived 12 years in the Caribbean. You accept and get used to it. But after 12 years of heat, we like the climate more in Boquete. Our 3 Caribbean dogs too. What we liked in St. Lucia (Caribbean) that we lived 10 minutes drive from the wonderful beach and go for a swimm. We almost always took our dogs with us and they enjoyed swimming and running. That is what we only miss here.


    • We’re all different. For me, Boquete is too chilly and I do better down here. It’s good that Boquete is close enough to visit easily though. Is there a river or swimming hole or water up there that your dogs would enjoy?


  5. Carole says:

    I love the rain also, especially when I am at home. Hate to be out in the street with it. I remember from our last trip around June to Panama, it always rained around 3pm. We used to live in Ca. and it didn’t rain much there, one of the things we didn’t like about CA. We now live in St Croix and certain times of the year in Hurricane season which is now, we have some heavy rains also, which I look forward to. Can’t wait to be in Panama again, leaving today to stay over in Puerto Rico to catch our plane tomorrow to David. Little anxious about our plans, but well needed break from Island life. It would be nice if we were to get together with you, hopefully we can.


  6. ME BE in Panama says:

    Mariah and I had our initiation to the Panamanian rainy season while living in the casita at Jaramillo Arriba. Yes, the metal roof thrummed like a kettle drum for about an hour. Deafening. I had the advantage of being able to turn off my hearing aids, and that helped a bit. The rain brought back memories of monsoon season in Vietnam all those years ago.
    Thanks, Kris, hola to Joel!


  7. jim and nena says:

    Put me in for rainy (at least cloudy) season as well. I remember 40+ years ago in Panama City you could set a watch by the rain. But, it always ended by quitting time so getting downtown during happy hour was possible.

    One must be careful of the sun during rainy season. Huh, you say. The cloudy, cool weather is the perfect time for a serious sunburn. The worst sunburn I got was in such a condition sitting on the beach all morning. OK, I was recovering from the previous night’s happy hour but that didn’t stop the UV coming through the clouds from giving me 2nd degree burns on my back. Blisters the size of silver dollars covered my back and “breaking starch” with a fresh uniform was torture. That afternoon when the scheduled rainstorm began, I stood out in it and got soaked with warm rainwater to cool the heat radiating through my shirt back. Panama taketh, Panama giveth.


    • Ooh, it sounds like you had a wicked burn. Yes indeed the sun here is very intense. I can’t be out indefinitely even with my now tanned skin and lots of sunscreen, and you are right. Clouds don’t protect you either.


  8. That’s quite an uproar Kris, the rain on your metal roof! I read somewhere, when looking for a house for rent (or sale) in Panama, don’t get one with a metal roof, because of the noise from the downpours. One could get used to it though, I’m sure. Monsoon season in India is like this, though most of the houses have terracptta tiled roofs. There are parts where it rains for almost the entire monsoon – without stopping at all, seemingly. As for me, I love the rain.


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