The climate in Panama is a tropical climate, with two distinct seasons: the dry season and the wet season. The dry season runs from December to April and is characterized by hot days and cool nights, low humidity, and little precipitation. The wet season runs from May to November and sees an increase in rainfall, higher humidity levels, and temperatures that range from warm to hot.
The climate varies by region in Panama due to the country’s varied geography. In the coastal areas the climate tends to be more humid while temperatures remain fairly constant throughout the year. Inland areas experience a more temperate climate with cooler temperatures during winter months.
Panama City has an average temperature of 80°F (27°C), with plenty of sunlight most days of the year. Temperatures can reach as high as 95°F (35°C) during peak summer months of June – August with humidity levels around 75%. Rainfall is most common during late spring and early summer (May-July) where average monthly rainfall can reach up to 8 inches (20 cm).
One climate feature unique to Panama is El Niño, which affects weather patterns around the world due to changes in ocean temperatures in certain regions. During El Niño, Panama experiences very heavy rains which can lead to floods and landslides but also contributes greatly towards agricultural growth throughout the country.
Since Panama lies close to both oceans (Atlantic on one side and Pacific on the other), its climate receives moderate influence from both sides which helps keep temperatures milder than other Central American countries closer to just one ocean or sea. Weather patterns moving between both oceans also play a significant role in moderating temperatures across different regions within Panama.
Panama’s climate and weather
Panama has a tropical marine climate and is well-known for its green, lush scenery. At sea level, it is hot and muggy, with somewhat milder temperatures in the mountains.
With one exception, the Atlantic borders the east while the Pacific hugs the west coast of the Americas. Due to Panama’s unusual east-west direction, the Caribbean Sea (a suboceanic basin of the Atlantic Ocean) is located to the north while the Pacific Ocean borders the country’s southern shore.
The sun rises over the Pacific and sets over the Caribbean here, making it the only site in the world where you can view both. You may simultaneously view both seas at certain very high heights. That’s because Panama is an isthmus, with a narrowest point of fewer than 40 miles.
Panama doesn’t have four distinct seasons as North America does. The dry or “summer” season and the rainy or “winter” season are both present here. Typically, summer lasts from December through April. The Pacific coast has a slow onset of rain with regular showers in locations like Panama City and Coronado. These often occur in the afternoon and linger no more than an hour from May through July.
Here, people merely modify their schedules appropriately, drying their clothes early in the day, for instance. Before and after an afternoon shower, there is often sunshine. On Panama’s Pacific coast, really gloomy days are quite uncommon. You may expect to see the sun in the morning or late afternoon, even on the considerably rainier Caribbean coast.
Panama’s Caribbean and mountainous areas get more than 100 inches of rain annually compared to the Pacific coast’s 50 to 70 inches. At sea level, temperatures typically range between 78 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit before and after sunset. The mountains are typically 10 to 15 degrees colder.
Nearly twice as much rain falls on the Caribbean coast each year—130 inches—than it does on the Pacific coast. The Coronado region and Azuero get considerably less rainfall, with localities like Las Tablas and Pedas often recording less than 40 inches. While lush Boquete receives between 115 and 200 inches of rain annually.
Panama lies southwest of the hurricane zone, thus although significant storms and floods may happen sometimes, there are no tropical cyclones there. Tremors are frequent since the nation rests on the Panama Plate, which is its own tectonic plate. A 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the Bocas del Toro area of Panama’s mainland in 1991 claimed the lives of 28 people. The epicenter of the earthquake occurred in Costa Rica, and it remains the only known seismic event to have caused so significant damage in Panama.
The Bar Volcano (almost 11,400 feet), which last erupted around 500 years ago, is Panama’s highest mountain. There are roughly 50 national parks and reserves throughout the nation, and the mountain is a component of the Volcán Bar National Park. La Yeguada and El Valle are the only other volcanoes in Panama. Both eruptions occurred thousands of years ago.
Panama is renowned for various microclimates because it has two coastlines, a range of mountains along the Continental Divide, and trade winds that arrive early each year. There might be significant differences in wind and rainfall from one neighborhood to the next.
Panama has a lengthy rainy season, however it is fairly sunny there. Mornings are often bright, with a brief period of rain between 2 and 5 in the afternoon. There are seldom more than a few gloomy days in a succession, even during the wettest months (August through November on the Pacific coast and in the highlands).
Rainforest or cloud forest regions are protected by several of Panama’s national parks and reserves. Panama is the only nation in the world to have a rainforest right in its capital city, and it has protected a higher proportion of its forests than any other nation. Although there is a lot of humidity all around Panama, there are “Dry Arc” areas that attract foreigners who want it dry.
However, many people like the humidity.
There are only two seasons in Panama: rainy and dry. It actually happens overnight to go from sweltering summer days to stormy nights.
It’s all about getting ready and savoring the season’s beautiful foliage. The Panamanian rainy season is characterized by lush vegetation and rainbows.
During the rainy season, swap out your stylish sandals with some that are waterproof.
Always make sure your phone and tablet are charged in case a storm causes the lights to go out. Having emergency lighting is a good idea.
The weather is quite dependable in Panama, which is excellent, and that gives me peace. The rainy season in Panama often begins in late April or May. Large, fluffy clouds fill the sky in the mornings, and by late afternoon, you can see thunderheads building as they descend from the mountains and proceed towards the Pacific Ocean.
Then, at dark, fantastic light displays and abundant showers take place. The rain begins earlier in the day and becomes heavier as we go through the months coming up to October. November has less rain than October, and by mid-December, all rain has stopped until the following April.
Almost every afternoon or evening, the sky will become pitch-black and be accompanied by rolling thunder and lightning. Most of the time, you can hear the rain starting far off, traveling in your direction, and increasing power as it gets closer. I never get weary of seeing it unfold because it is so amazing to witness.
Even the rainy season is lovely. Everything expands inexorably. Never before have there been so many different hues of green. As crickets sing loudly at night, cane toads emerge. Friends gather inside to enjoy wine and the seasonal light display that Mother Nature provides.