Transition to the Wet Season: Staring the Wicked Witch in the Face Again

In late-September and early-October we are in the transition to the wet season. We have had a nice “mid-year summer” and sure won’t complain. Between now and December we are looking at increasing amounts of rain and a lot of cool, cloudy weather. The reappearance of la niña (the wicked witch) and its expected residence through the upcoming rains indicates they are likely to be heavier than “normal.” But then again what is normal after nearly 3 la niña episodes in a row. BTW the wicked witch brings excessive rains to Colombia and is not a welcomed guest in most quarters.


The Wicked Witch is Dead?

IDEAM is the Colombian equivalent of the National Weather Service in the US with additional responsibilities.  They are calling the end of this la niña event for the country. This is welcome news as the flooding and landslides during the fall/winter and spring wet seasons have been catastrophic. Now we are waiting for the passage of the normal seasonal rains to finish and take the water on up toward Central America. Here in Medellin we have our fingers crossed and are hoping that the last 15 days or so of the first rainy season are not to wet.  We did have some really nice weather over the past month with plenty of sunny, dry days.

The Rains Have Begun

24 April 2010

This past week has been very warm and dry again. Most of the climate modeling suggests that the el Niño condition will end during the Northern Hemisphere summer and NOAA seems to be pretty sure about that now. I for one will be pleased to see the normal rains again.

The rainy season has started in earnest now. This past week has been very wet with rain most days. Several afternoons and evenings brought heavy downpours. The humidity is up a lot. This past dry season was intense and lasted longer than normal. Generally in mid-March there is a distinct increase in rainy weather. This year we had a couple of wet days but no where near enough.

NOAA has indicated that the el Niño should last only through this northern hemisphere summer. That would put us on track for a normal rainy season between October and December.

Rainy Season

Well we are on the cusp between the mid-year dry and fall rainy seasons. The fall rains generally increase slowly after mid-September and are in full swing in October and November. By mid-December they have pretty much stopped and the early dry season begins. The term “dry season” is relative as we do get some rain during these periods.

IDEAM, the national weather bureau is expecting slightly lower than average rains over much of the country due to the developing El Niño conditions. This would be welcome around here as last years La Niña brought excessive rain with lots of flooding.

Right now we have a good thunder bumper cranking up. These are very common between about 1500 and 1700.

Dry Weather

This dry season is turning out to be toasty. The lawns are starting to show stress and we had several brush fires in different areas around the city over the weekend. A few of the shrubs in landscapes around town also are showing stress. So far I don’t see any difference in the trees. When I got back to the house yesterday several of the container plants had dried out which is uncommon.

In addition we had strong winds over the weekend. This is the fist time I have seen strong regional winds. I is likely that we are seeing the effects of El Niño setting in.  While this is normally a fairly dry part of the year it seems to be drier and warmer than normal.

Rain, Tiles and Cats

Well the rain was great. Just one small problem, semi-feral cats. The critters move the roof tiles around and then leaks develop. Cats of this nature are not appreciated in Medellin. In fact a friend who was visiting last night discussed the use of a 16-gauge to deal with the problem.

Personally I like cats and would not resort to leaden soultions but I am going to have to do something about them.

Any suggestions?

Nice Rainy Evening

Rain tonight and it is welcome during the “dry” season! This week has been damp with several good rains. The weeks prior had been quite warm and dry.

Being from Southern California never really got enough rain. I love this climate!

Rain Rates for Colombia

I put links to the US Navy’s satellite date for both 15 min and 3 hour rain rates on the Climate and Weather page. Click Animate,  select Full Sized and click Most Recent. Otherwise use it as you like.


Wow. We actually got some rain last night. This dry season has been intense with a lot of heat and little rain. The contrast with last year is striking. That of course was a La Niña year. We are moving into an El Niño event and this brings relatively dry weather to Colombia.