I’ll talk about the La Paz weather a lot because it’s either a pro or a con, depending on your personal preferences and experiences. I spent the first 24 years of my life in Vermont, the Chicago area and Montana, so I was fed up with bitter cold weather by the time I moved to Oregon in 1970. I loved Portland and learned to tolerate its few “snow days” each year but 39 years of long rainy seasons eventually took their toll. As we began to focus in on Baja California Sur (BCS) as our retirement destination, it was easy to make a strong case for a hot, desert climate. We made our exploratory trip to BCS in December and, compared to the weather back in Portland, the southern Baja Peninsula felt like paradise. The temps were in the high 70s, there wasn’t a drop of rain for the entire month and we often lunched outside. It was even warm enough for a scuba diving trip!
When we returned to Baja in May, to begin our new life, the hot season had already begun and daytime temps were in the mid-90s. In addition, the humidity was much higher than anything I’d experienced a few months earlier. As the summer wore on, our weekly shopping trips to La Paz saw temperatures as high as 114 with a humidity of 80% or more. In Todos Santos, where we spent that summer, the temps were typically 20 degrees less than La Paz, so we didn’t fully experience the summer heat until the following year. And our first “winter” season in La Paz was absolutely incredible. We had Thanksgiving Dinner 2009 on the beach with a large group of fellow expats and we often had lunch on our deck. We spent a lot of time outdoors, exploring our new city and the surrounding area. Then summer 2010 arrived!
By the time I made my first trip stateside, in the fall of 2010, I had become intrigued with the Baja weather, so I bought a digital indoor-out-door thermometer that also recorded the high and low temperature. I made a practice of resetting it every Sunday morning and recording the weekly highs and lows at our house in a spreadsheet. I now have data for more than 9 years! This morning, for example, I logged last week’s low as 55.4 and the corresponding high as 73.2.
It’s interesting to look back over all this data and compare current readings to previous years. Most locals will tell you that it’s getting hotter every year, but the numbers don’t bear that out. The highest I’ve ever recorded was 108.6, back in 2016. 2017 saw a high of 105.4 and this past summer we made it to 107.4. What is changing, though, is the length of the “hot” season. 2018 set a record of 19 consecutive weeks with at least one 100+ day during the week. This streak began in late April and lasted through the first week in September!
By the time the heat final broke, I found myself longing for rainy Portland, but now that we’re back into “winter” again, I’ve put all those thoughts behind me because it’s time to think about snorkeling, kayaking hiking and long walks along the Malecón.