As the autumn season arrives in Mexico, areas near the coasts are usually warm, but it’s worth noting that areas inland —many of which are situated at higher elevation— begin to get cooler and may also become quite cool or cold.
Coasts feel cooler, mountains feel colder
From late September, autumn temperatures in places situated at higher elevation (over 4,000 feet above sea level) will feel generally cooler, and temperatures can begin to feel chilly and even cold during early morning hours and after sundown at elevations above 6,000 feet.
As a rule of thumb, when you’re visiting Mexico’s inland cities situated at elevation during the autumn and winter, you’ll encounter comfortably warm days (typically up to 22C/72F) and cool or chilled morning and evenings; temperatures can drop to near-freezing in some places overnight during winter months, especially in rural locations.
Overcast days brought about by temporary climate depressions will usually bring cool or chilly weather all day long this time of year. Overnight temperatures at these higher elevations begin to warm-up again from late February or early March.
Coastal areas vs mountain towns
For example, the Pacific coastal towns of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are situated just a three-hour drive from the highland colonial city of Morelia. With Morelia situated at around 7,000 feet above sea-level —a mile-and-a-half up in the sky— autumn and winter there requires the use of pull-overs, fleece coats, and perhaps even some indoor heating for mornings and late evenings (locally, many people use log fires or small electric-powered space heaters to take the edge off colder hours).
By contrast, coastal areas like Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Puerto Vallarta —that swelter through the peak summer months— begin to yield their heat and humidity during the autumn, and temperatures become pleasantly warm; a principal reason why many ‘snow birds’ arrive at coastal towns across Mexico during this time of year with the intention of overwintering in Mexico.
Transition to the dry season
The rain season that begins in May or June comes to an abrupt end in October or November, and the transition from the rain season to the dry season begins. When the rains stop, there remains plenty of moisture in the ground to keep the flora bright and fragrant for a time; however, by late December the absence of torrential rains becomes noticeable, and by late January the effects of the dry season can be readily felt in the air, and seen across the landscape.
Clock-time changes in the fall
Autumn in Mexico also brings a change to the clock time in most Mexican states. The one-hour backwards clock adjustment brings an end to the lighter spring and summer evenings although, as we explain in our winter climates article, you’ll continue to enjoy relatively long daylight hours even through the autumn and winter seasons in Mexico.
Dressing for cooler weather
If you’re in Mexico between October and March, it’s wise to pack some warmer attire when you’re situated at any of the country’s highland towns and cities, which includes most of Mexico’s colonial cities as well as the three big cities of Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. If you’re traveling to one of Mexico’s coastal locations during these months, it’s advisable to pack a light pull-over for any cooler evenings which may come to pass, usually caused by temporary climate depressions that blow in from the north.
Learn more about Mexico’s climates and weather
You can get full details about the weather by region and season in Mexico on our guide to Climate in Mexico, and for information about the different climate zones in the country, read our article Mexico, Land of Three Lands
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