the Wonder of Mexico’s Mystical Wind


Sudden wind storms can ascend across Mexico any time of year, but they are especially prevalent during seasonal changes.

The Aztec god of the wind

In Aztec culture, Ehecatl is the god of the wind; oftentimes depicted as a plumed serpent and illustrated in the breath and motion of living beings and in the breezes which bring and take the precious rain water that enables things to live and thrive.

Wind patterns by season in Mexico

The behavior of a wind storm in Mexico can be quite mystical: appearing suddenly, transforming a perfectly still and clear day or night into a windswept landscape that causes dust, leaves and other foliage to be strewn across streets, parks, and gardens, and vanishing as abruptly as it appeared.  These often-fleeting wind storms afford divine facilitation of the natural cycles, stripping trees and other flora of weak and dead branches, and ushering seasons through the throes of change.

Arrival of the first autumnal wind storms tend to herald the end of the rain season, usually in October.  As the weeks press-on from October through December, climates in places situated at higher altitudes can begin to get cool or cold, and the typically humid coasts and lowlands have their heat tempered, bringing comfortable warmth to Mexico’s low-lying regions.

During the winter season, this mystical wind can bring cold-fronts —“nortes” as they are known colloquially— most of which tend to linger a few days before passing, and granting a return of the temperate and agreeable winter climates Mexico is renowned for.

When the season begins to turn again from winter to spring, Ehecatl returns in earnest, conveying warmer air flows, and bringing welcome relief from the long dry spells that characterize late spring—in the form of seasonal rains.

Mexico City tends to experience plenty of windy days in March, helping to disperse the soiled air that accrues in the valley basin during the winter months and offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains including the two majestic volcanoes which flank the capital.

Winds during the rain season

The wind can also be felt during the rain season, usually when temporary gusts appear in the minutes leading-up to a torrential rain storm that will drench the local landscape and everything upon it: the wind may be conspicuous by its complete absence afterwards. By contrast, Mexico’s hurricane season can bring the combination of persistently strong wind and torrential rain where these tropical cyclones make landfall.

Practical considerations

Wind storms can bring about a range of challenges for visitors, travelers and residents in Mexico—these are the most common:

  • Like every natural phenomenon, wind storms present risks when you’re driving in Mexico—as trees, rocks, and other debris may fall onto roads and highways.
  • The wind is also a potential purveyor of challenges to home-owners in Mexico, as structures (especially roof tiles and palapas) and falling trees can cause significant damage to the property itself and may also cause damage or injury to third parties. (Roof tiles, trees or large branches falling onto a neighbor’s property can leave you with a hefty bill you were not expecting.)  A good home insurance policy will cover many risks associated with wind damage, including third-party liability, but note that none will cover palapas.
  • Wind storms can also cause electricity power cuts to homes.  Most of Mexico’s electrical cables are hung overground, and wind storms can cause electrical lamp posts to fall —some have transformers strapped to them that can affect several streets— and if the winds are accompanied by a lightning storm this too can affect electricity supplies.
  • Wind storms during the dry season when the ground soil is parched can create localized dust storms. When driving, these can substantially reduce visibility; at home, sudden wind storms can deliver copious amounts of dust into your rooms as it enters through doors and windows you have open for ventilation.

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