Weather and Climate in Medellín: The City of Eternal Spring

Smart phone with weather forecast

Weather and climate is one of the many benefits of living in Medellín.  Medellín is known as “La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera”, the city of eternal spring. The city has a comfortable climate that is consistent year-round due to being located at a high elevation of about 4,900 feet and also being near the equator.

Medellín technically has a tropical rain-forest climate that borders on a subtropical highland climate.  Because of the elevation, it’s not as hot in Medellín as other cites at the same latitude close to the equator.

However, at times it can get hot in Medellín.  The all-time record high in Medellín was reportedly 100.4 °F (38 °C).  Medellín also has two rainy seasons when it can rain 21 or more days each month.

In this article, we look at the weather in Medellín in detail including temperature ranges, temperatures in different neighborhoods, the typical rainfall and humidity in the city.

Temperatures by Month in Medellín

Medellín’s average annual temperature is 72.5 °F (22.5 °C). The average temperature in the city during the year typically only varies by about 1 °F.  During an average day in the city the temperature typically ranges from 63.2 to 82.1 °F (17.4 to 27.8 °C).

The average temperature per month as well as the average high and average low temperatures per month can be seen in the following table:

Average Temperatures by month in Medellín at Olaya Herrera Airport - 1981-2010, source: Instituto Hidrologia Meterorologia y Estudios Ambientales

Average Temperatures by month in Medellín at Olaya Herrera Airport – 1981-2010, source: Instituto Hidrologia Meterorologia y Estudios Ambientales

Temperatures by Neighborhood

Not everyone is aware that the temperature in different neighborhoods in the Medellín metro area typically varies by up to 4 degrees Celsius or over 7 degrees Fahrenheit for the high temperature of the day.

El Centro is the neighborhood that normally has the warmest high temperature during the day. While several neighborhoods popular with foreigners can have lower temperatures.  To demonstrate this I looked at the temperature in several neighborhoods in the city at 3pm yesterday.

I used the Ciudadanos Cientificos mobile app used to monitor pollution sensors in the city.  These pollution sensors also report the current temperature.  The following table shows what I found:

Temperatures by neighborhood at 3 pm on May 24, 2017

Temperatures by neighborhood at 3 pm on May 24, 2017

So, at 3 pm while it was 81.21 °F in El Centro it was only 74.25 °F in Sabaneta near Parque Sabaneta, almost 7 °F cooler.  In El Pobaldo at Ciudad del Rio it was 5.7 °F cooler than in El Centro. And up the hills in Sabaneta and El Poblado it’s typically another 2 degrees’ Fahrenheit cooler.

While this is just one sample and isn’t scientific, I have looked at this mobile app many times in the afternoon and it’s normally 5-8 degree’s Fahrenheit cooler in Sabaneta and El Poblado than in El Centro.  El Centro tends to have the highest temperature in the metro area. You can use this mobile app yourself to see the pollution level and temperature at sensors throughout the city.

This demonstrates that it is possible to choose a neighborhood to live in Medellín with lower high temperatures.  The lower parts of the valley like El Centro and Laureles-Estadio tend to have higher temperatures.  For example, I have met some expats living in Laureles-Estadio that have air-conditioning.

Up the hills in El Poblado, Envigado and Sabeneta temperatures can be noticeably cooler (up to about 9-10 °F cooler) than in El Centro.  And further up the hills in areas like Rionegro near the international airport the temperature is even cooler.

How often does it rain?

How often does it rain?

Rainfall by Month in Medellín

Medellín has two rainy seasons during the year: April to May and September to November as seen in the following table.

During these rainiest months, it typically rains at least 21 days each month.  But keep in mind when it rains in Medellín this is normally a relatively short shower.  And it doesn’t necessarily rain in all the neighborhoods in the city at the same time or same day.  It also rarely rains for an extended period in the city.

The driest months in Medellín are typically December, January, February and March.

I almost always carry a small umbrella with me in a backpack.  In my experience, you never know when it may rain in the city or in a particular neighborhood.  And the weather forecasts for Medellín are frequently inaccurate.

Average rainfall by month in Medellín at Olaya Herrera Airport - 1981-2010, source: Instituto Hidrologia Meterorologia y Estudios Ambientales

Average rainfall by month in Medellín at Olaya Herrera Airport – 1981-2010, source: Instituto Hidrologia Meterorologia y Estudios Ambientales

Humidity by Month in Medellín

The average humidity for the year in Medellín is 67.5 percent.  The average humidity each month in the city ranges from 62.6 percent to 71.7 percent as seen in the following table.

Average Humidity by month in Medellín at Olaya Herrera Airport - 1981-2010, source: Instituto Hidrologia Meterorologia y Estudios Ambientales

Average Humidity by month in Medellín at Olaya Herrera Airport – 1981-2010, source: Instituto Hidrologia Meterorologia y Estudios Ambientales

Average Daily Sunshine Hours by Month

For the entire year, Medellín averages 5.1 sunshine hours per day.  Each month this average number of sunshine days varies from 4.1 to 6.4 sunshine hours per day as seen in the following table:

Average Daily sunshine hours by month in Medellín at Olaya Herrera Airport - 1981-2010, source: Instituto Hidrologia Meterorologia y Estudios Ambientales

Average Daily sunshine hours by month in Medellín at Olaya Herrera Airport – 1981-2010, source: Instituto Hidrologia Meterorologia y Estudios Ambientales

 

Medellín - the City of Eternal Spring

Medellín – the City of Eternal Spring

The Bottom Line: Weather and Climate

Medellín is famous for having a spring-like climate year-round.  The weather is a benefit of living in the city since it is possible to live without heating or air-conditioning.  I have lived nearly seven years in the city without heating or air-conditioning.  I only have a few fans at home.  And I am now completely spoiled by the climate and dislike going places with cold temperatures and snow or hot temperatures.

Keep in mind that temperatures in the city can vary by neighborhood as seen in the above article.  So it is possible to chose a place to live or stay that has lower high temperatures during the day.

The rainiest months in Medellín are normally April to May and September to November.  So, if you are planning a visit to the city and want to avoid many days with some rain, these months should be avoided.

But my father visited earlier this month during the rainy season and he liked the weather. He really didn’t experience much rain, as it didn’t rain every day. And when it rained, the rain was typically for no more than a few hours.  Even during the rainy season, it averages over four sunshine hours per day.

During the rainy season the weather forecast may be for rain every day.  But what this actually means is that it may rain for a few hours but normally not everywhere in the city.

What do you think about the weather and climate in Medellín?

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About Jeff

Jeff first discovered Colombia back in 2006 and has traveled to all the major cities in Colombia. He is fortunate to have lived over seven years in Medellín. He is also studying Spanish to become fluent.

Comments

  1. Thanks for another great article. I love the climate in Medellín, it’s one of the reasons I moved here.

    I didn’t know the high temperature in different neighborhoods varied so much. That is great information you can’t find anywhere else.

  2. Ron Wegner says:

    I live in Laureles and have installed central air in my apartment which faces West. This is a major factor in factoring in comfort levels living here in Medellin in a typical high rise condo. Without my air condrionintg units we we suffocate from the heat which reaches upwards of 95 defgress F. during the afternoon.

  3. geoffrey says:

    I live in Laureles in an apartment that is oriented North. No air conditioning is required. I have two fans that do the trick. There is more than one elevation Laurels. Near Estadio and Parque Del Rio I’ve felt the mid-day heat to a greater degree than where I live up around Av. Nutibara. Measuring from La 70 I’m up the hill maybe about 175 ft. and then I’m on the 7th floor of my building. Facing North, the rays don’t come in and I get a delicious year round flow through of cool dry air off the surrounding mountain. The neighborhood is a self contained, very walkable little jewel of a place. It’s a completely different life than one in which I’d be stuck in traffic breathing fumes on the valley floor.

    • Ron Wegner says:

      I too live in Laureles facing west and without my central air we would bake. We recieve no breeze at all. Facing north and east is optimum here. A totally different life for us. I fought tooth and nail for permissilon from my condo board to install my units on the roof of my bullding. I
      Am on the 16th floor and fully understand how heat rises. My electric bill is 260.000 pesos per
      Month which includes
      Water and gas and my washer and dryer. Very high for strata 4. Ouch. The city of eternal Spring is Eternal Summer for us.

  4. Thanks for this article! I agree that it is the hottest in El Centro and other low areas of the valley. That’s why I decided not to live in Laureles as it sometimes gets too hot there.

    It sometime seems like Medellín has micro-climates – cooler in places like Sabaneta and the hills of El Poblado and hotter in El Centro.

  5. Tomi Pontynen says:

    I do not understand weather forecasts here. These days they are forecasting thunderstorms for every day. In fact, it has gone many days without those.

    Of course, I do not want to go for 20 – 30 km walks out of town ( Copacabana) if there is warning for thunder.

    I long after life in Salinas, Ecuador, where I could go walking to the windward playas whenever I wanted.

    It is a little difficult to get used to such a rainy climate, which reduces my outdoor life. Apparently, I am a tropical animal, as the nights and mornings feel cold. Any temperature below 20 centigrade is cold for me.

    • Don’t bother looking at most of the weather forecasts here. They are so often wrong and frequently will be for rain every day even though it doesn’t rain every day. If the forecast is for rain, that means in may rain in some part of the metro but not the entire area. Also if it rains it’s normally for a short while. That’s why I carry an umbrella with me most of the time.

      One of the better weather forecast is Accuweather hourly. It gives the chance of rain by hour. For example, today it forecasts thunderstorms at 6pm but only a 51% chance of rain. 7pm or later the chance of rain drops to 25% or less. See: http://www.accuweather.com/en/co/medellin/107060/hourly-weather-forecast/107060

      • Agreed but carrying an umbrella with you can be a big plus. Especially during rainy months. We had some very serious rains in 2017 resulting in land and mudslides displacing many families here in some of the poorer barrios like San Javier and outlying suburbs like Giradota and Barbosa. La niña this year has wreaked severe damage to many parts of Colombia,including the Putumayo area and up north. Enjoy, have fun and be safe and remember your umbrella on questionable days.

  6. We are selling our B and B in Costa Rica and Medellin is at the top of our list to settle. Sincere thanks for your breakdown of the climate.

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