The rainy season in Panama is from May to December and the dry season is from the months of January through April. Panama has very constant high temperatures throughout the year. The annual average temperature is 26-27 ° C, and the annual temperature variation is less than 2.5 °. Most of the rainfall occurs from June to November and averaging over 1,500 mm, increasing from S to N. The Atlantic coast has the highest rainfall, because of the NE trade winds, which blow from December to May. During rainy season when the humidity is at its highest in the lower elevations the temperature can feel anywhere from 5 – 15° warmer.
I’ve mentioned in several blog posts recently that wet season has arrived with a vengeance and along with the rain we’ve been having some wicked lightning storms. There is a cycle to the way the rains fall. We have a big storm with plenty of water, it gets very warm and steamy, the ground water rises creating more storm clouds and the rain falls to the ground again. The temperature lately has consistently been between 27 – 30° and we’ve been pleasantly surprised that most days, except for a couple, we’ve had a nice gentle breeze blowing, helping to keep the chitras down and cooling us off.
One of the first storms of the season resulted in a wicked lightning show that took down the internet tower that Dusty and El Gordo receive their service from. It also blew out the electrical panel of the house that our other amigos own. Rather than replace the tower with more inadequate lightning protection, our amigo on whose property the tower sits consulted with the meteorologist friend to see how to best prevent a lightning strike from taking out the tower again. An el pararrayos or a large lightning rod sunk six feet into the ground was constructed and attached to a series of ground wires also sunk into the ground to help to disburse the electrical energy should it get struck by lightning again. SU volunteered to help raise the tower and mi amiga took pictures during the day and shared them with me.
There is a lack of heavy-duty machinery in our area resulting in innovative methods being used. The tower is 5o feet high, making it the highest point on the property and maybe even in the district. Hopefully the internet provider will be over soon to reconnect everyone to the system.
On another note: one thing to keep in mind when planning a move to Panama is if internet service is important to you is to consider what kind of service is provided in the area you will be living in. There are several “dead” areas throughout the country where no WiFi service is available from Claro and there are no cables laid for hard wiring service. I’ve also been told that one of the housing developments in our area that provides WiFi service from a private tower has been hit by lightning a few times causing internet outages for the residents there. We use a router and stick for our service and receive excellent service, however; our house is very well situated to the tower in the middle of el pueblo, enabling us to keep in touch with the outside world in the campo.