a rain soaked palapa
“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day” is a popular nursery rhyme that childeren sing when they are bored during a rain storm and want to go out and play. You will very rarely find adults singing this song. Funny enough, I began singing this rhyme while I was living in Playa del Carmen because who wants rain in paradise..!?! Not the locals…not the tourists…not me…not nobody. You want to enjoy the beauty of the ocean, the jungle, the town and rain just doesn’t cut it..!!
5th avenue rain courtesy of somosplayadelcarmen.com
Unfortunately, it rains in paradise. That’s why it’s the tropics..!! All that beautiful lush jungle needs rain to survive. The rainy season, aka “hurricane season” lasts from June to October. Hurricanes can bring about a lot of damage and destruction, but luckily, they are few and far between. In 2005, both Hurricanes Emily and Wilma ravaged the Riviera Maya. That was the worst hurricane season in 154 years. Also, tropical storms or tormentas tropicales occur regularly during the rainy season. They are smaller and less intense than hurricanes. These tropical storms bring wind and heavy rains over the span of a few days which can also cause flooding.
Hurricane Ernesto 2012 courtesy of extremewx.com
However, tormentas tropicales can also be a little bit intimidating because they can fluctuate between tropical storms and hurricanes. When I was living in Mexico, Hurrican Ernesto came through in August 2012. Ernesto began as a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa. He turned into a tropical depression in the central Atlantic before becoming a tropical storm as he entered the Caribbean. But when Ernesto reached landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula he became a Category 2 Hurricane. Pretty serious stuff. There was flooding in the streets and no electricity or internet. Fortunately, there was no serious damage.
5th avenue flooded courtesy of somosplayadelcarmen.com
On the one hand, it was kinda exciting to say I had lived through a hurricane. Previous to that experience, I had survived tornadoes in Chicago and earthquakes in L.A., but never a hurricane. By the way, I use the term ‘survive’ loosely, I never felt like I was in any imminent danger. On the other hand, I wasn’t just a tourist in Mexico whose vacation was ruined. I worked..!! This meant I had to figure out how to get to work in the pouring rain, wind and flooding. Not fun – I might add. While snow is depressing, there is something equally depressing about slogging through calf high water. Ewwww… Thank goodness for flip flops or chanclas which I learned to always carry with me..!
5th avenue night rain courtesy of somosplayadelcarmen.com
There was also a tropical storm during my birthday in June last year which lasted three days. I’m used to living in Chicago where June is a great month to have a birthday, but not in paradise. It always rains in June. But I sucked it up and put on my flip flops and went out..!! I have to admit I was impressed that my friends made it out too 🙂 It would have been so easy to just stay home and be warm…and dry. But to their credit, they made it out. And we proceeded to enjoy tasty beverages and each other’s company along with the rain. And that’s one of the other reasons I love Mexico. People congregate…they connect…regardless of the weather. So I learned to stop singing my little ditty – “rain, rain, go away, rosie wants to go out and play”. And I just went out and played anyway 🙂
I leave you with some tropical storm action from yesterday in playa….