We entered April this year with a bit of trepidation. Last year, 2010, April presented us with 20 inches of rain, the highest recorded for that month in the 18 years for which we have data. It was the beginning of the wettest rainy season on record for Panama, evidence of a very strong La Niña.
This year, once again, April brought us higher than average rainfall. We had about 15 inches. Still above average, but not a record. Interestingly, it rained 15 days in April, just as it did in 2010. Further, most of the rain came toward the end of the month, just as it did in 2010, but not in the quantities that we saw last year.
Our number this year, then, fell about half-way between average and maximum (see chart, below). It is, in fact, the third highest April rainfall in our data, following 2010 and 2007 (see summary table, above).
Not surprisingly, our solar input was lowest for the year so far, as were the average and maximum wind speeds. It was the high cloud cover that kept us from sweltering so that our average temperature was about 71 degrees, a tad cooler than March.
What to expect? A regional climatologist conference has predicted that western Panama will have a wetter than average May and June. At the same time, the La Niña from last year has weakened to nonexistence. All we can say at this point is that the upcoming weather will probably not be very dramatic. Which is fine by me!
Meantime, do visit Lloyd Cripe’s April report on the weather from Palmira. I just caught his off-the-cuff remark that May is one of their rainiest months. That’s very interesting. We’re just 6 miles down the mountain from Palmira and although May tends to mark the beginning of our rainy season, our rainiest months don’t occur until September and October (see chart above). This difference does bear looking into.