Springtime in Mexico begins on or around March 21st each year, although by late February changes in the climate cycle can be seen and felt across the country as winter passes, daylight lengthens, and temperatures rise.
A transitional period
Early spring in Mexico is a transitional period that is often expressed with “febrero loco, y marzo otro poco,” a popular Mexican saying which describes the sudden change-ability (and increased unpredictability) of the weather during these two months of the year. It’s also a reminder that while the coolest days of winter may have passed, the warm spring days have not fully established their presence.
In the same way that cooling autumn days can suddenly turn summer-like in the highlands, warming spring days can suddenly turn cool and while these transitional snaps are brief, they can catch you off-guard. In central and northern states along the central highlands, cooler temperatures can persist into May, particularly overnight and during the early mornings. It’s worth packing and dressing for this changeability when you visit these regions during the spring.
It’s also a time of year when localized wind storms can appear suddenly, transforming a perfectly still day or night into a windswept landscape—and vanishing abruptly.
Clocks spring forward, Jacaranda flowers bloom
Depending where in Mexico you visit or live, the clocks may move forward in the Spring extending evening daylight into later hours, although as we noted in the winter climates article Mexico offers naturally-long daylight all year, regardless of any clock-time adjustments.
Annual trees begin to blossom again starting late February, redressing their branches and contributing another layer to the tapestries of bright color which Mexico is so well known for. The arrival of the elegant purple Jacaranda flowers is a bellwether sign that winter is truly passing.
Winter and early springtime months are ideal to visit or live near Mexico’s coasts, as humidity levels recede and there is little chance of rain—and virtually no chance of tropical storms which are formed over the oceans in high summer heat.
The driest months of the year
Early spring reveals the effects of Mexico’s dry season: by February, the natural moisture near the ground’s surface has evaporated, country trails and lanes turn dusty, grass lawns and fields turn corn-yellow and patchy. Aside from an occasional rain storm, these are the driest months of the year in Mexico, especially across the central highlands.
Springtime is high trading season for the “Pipas,” water-tank trucks labelled Agua Potable, which can regularly be seen trundling around roads and lanes during this time of year, especially in the countryside and outlying areas where some homes collect and filter rainwater for daily use and residents may arrange a water delivery to tide them over. (Each tank-truck dispenses up to 10,000 liters of clean water into a property’s underground cistern.)
Keen gardeners spend a lot of time watering their plants during early spring to keep them from wilting, and some embark upon a largely forlorn attempt to keep the grass from turning corn-yellow, which it will do naturally in the absence of a heavy drenching each day. To conserve fresh water supply, some larger homes with extensive gardens use ‘gray water,’ collected from rains and waste water and stored in a special cistern underground to water their lawn and plants during this dry season of the year. When the rain season returns in May or June the grass swiftly recolors to emerald green.
From dusty lanes to drenching rains
Every season in Mexico offers a unique climate experience for visitors and residents to enjoy. While the change from winter to spring is not as clearly noticeable as that further north in the hemisphere, springtime in Mexico does offer a chance to witness some fascinating natural contrasts and transitions.
By the time the shops and local markets become overflowing with juicy seasonal mangos, you’ll know it’s May again: air temperatures rise noticeably during mid-to-late spring before the start of refreshing summer rains that will propel the flora, and bring welcome relief from the dry dusty trails in the mountains, and the daytime heat along the coasts.