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Understanding Boquete Weather and Climate
A newcomer to Boquete from the northern latitudes such as North America or Northern Europe quickly discovers dramatic differences in weather, seasons and climate compared to their countries of origin. These changes include the rather constant length of days and nights, the warm and even temperatures, the dry and wet months and at times the strong northern winds. A curious observer asks questions about the causes of these differences.
The purpose of this article is to address these questions and help understand the major factors influencing Boquete weather and climate. This is a non-technical discussion with web links to more detailed information. The organization is as follows:
While the scope of this discussion is limited to the major factors that effect the weather and climate of Boquete (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, Thunderstorms and Orographic Lifting) it should be remembered that weather (the day-by-day realities of our atmosphere), the seasons and climate (the overall trends and patterns of weather over the course of the years) are always the result of a complex dynamic interaction of factors that include: the relative position of the sun, air temperature, air humidity, clouds, precipitation, air pressure, and winds. These are the basic elements of weather and climate. The weather of Boquete is no exception.
Panama and Boquete [top]
Panama is a relatively small strip of land in the shape of an “S” lying on its back 1100 miles south of Miami, Florida. It is sandwiched in between two large bodies of water, the Caribbean Sea to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south. It is also bordered by two countries with Costa Rica to the west and Columbia to the east (see Figure 1). To get some perspective of its relative size, it is a total of 29,157 square miles which is a bit smaller than the state of South Carolina with 30,109 square miles (See Figure 2). It is about 400 miles long running west to east and generally 50-70 miles wide from north to south. (See Figure 3). It has several mountain ranges dissecting it in various places. The western most mountain range continuing from Costa Rica is the Talamanca Range in the State of Chiriqui. This range includes the countries tallest mountain, Volcan Baru which is 11400 feet high (3475 meters) and home to tropical rainforests. Panama is located between 7 to 9 degrees north latitude

Figure 1. 1100 miles south of Florida

from the equator and between 77 to 83 degrees west longitude placing it solidly in the tropics. Panama is very small in comparison to the large land masses of continental North America and Europe. Its weather is more affected by the large water masses around it rather than by large land masses. In short, Panama is a little piece of land with highly varying terrain bathing in a large tub of water and basking in a whole lot of sun!

Boquete is not just a city although the town of Bajo Boquete is often called "Boquete." It is a District with 6 Subdistricts (Corregimientos) located in Chiriqui, the western most State (Province) of Panama bordering Costa Rica (See Figure 3). It covers an area of 189 square miles (484 square kilometers) and has a lot of topographical variation in terrain and elevation. The altitudes range from 1200 feet in the lowland areas to 11400 feet (Volcan Baru the

Figure 2. Smaller than South Carolina
highest point in Panama) in the highlands. Its southern boundary is the lowest part of the district which gradually slopes upward and northward to the Talamanca Mountain Range that runs east to west coming out of Costa Rica. The city of Bajo Boquete (Lower Boquete) in the Subdistrict of Bajo Boquete sits in a bowl like valley surrounded by Volcan Baru to the west, the Talamanca Range to the north, the Jaramillo Mountains to the east and an opening to the south after a slight climb out of the valley to the more open area of Alto Boquete which then slopes downward through a barren savanna to the southern boundary of the District of Boquete. The word Boquete in Spanish means a "hole" or an "opening." Originally this area was called "El Boquete" meaning the hole or opening to the valley.

Figure 3. Lonely Planet Map of Panama

About 12 miles south of the Boquete District boundary (in the Subdistrict of Alto Boquete) and 25 miles south of the town of Boquete Bajo is the city of David (population 2005 138,241) the capital of the State of Chiriqui. The elevation of David is about 200 feet. Driving from David to Bajo Boquete is a gradual climb from 200 feet to 3500 feet. There is often a 20° F decrease in outside temperature from David to Bajo Boquete. The District of Boquete has a lot of varying terrain with valleys, plateaus, hills, mountains, ravines, canyons and rivers. All of this variation provides conditions for differing weather and many microclimates. Follow this link to a large topographic map of the Chiriqui area and this link for an illustration of the District of Boquete, a map of the 6 Subdistricts and some data.

The Tropics [top]
The Tropics is a designated area around the earth between 23.5° north latitude (Tropic of Cancer) and 23.5 south latitude (Tropic of Capricorn). This is the area of the earth that gets the most direct sunlight during the earths yearly revolution around the sun (See Figure 4). Anyone living in this area receives more direct sun rays and the sun passes more directly overhead during the yearly cycle. In the Boquete area, the sun is most directly overhead in early April and mid August of each year.

Figure 4. Tropics more direct Solar Radiation
During the day, the sun heats the earth most where the suns rays strike the earth most directly. If the earth had no tilt, there would be a band around the center of the earth (between 10° N and 10° S latitudes) that would get the most direct sun and consistently be the warmest part of the earth. However, because the earth is tilted about 23.5° on its axis, as the earth revolves around the sun each year, the part of the earth that gets the most direct sunlight varies. This in large part is what causes the seasons in the northern latitudes.

 For example, in the northern winter months, the tilt causes the suns rays to hit the earth less directly and at more of an angle resulting in less heating of the earth and cooler overall temperatures. In the northern summer, the sun casts its light more directly in the north and makes for warmer temperatures.

In relationship to the earth, the path of the suns most direct radiation varies from about 23 degrees north (Tropic of Cancer) to about 23 degrees south (Tropic of Capricorn). If you live at latitudes greater than 23 degrees north or 23 degrees south, the sun is never as directly over your head. Yes, even in Florida or California, the sun is never directly overhead! However, if you live between 23 degrees north or south latitudes, the sun will be more directly over your head once or twice a year on the same dates depending on your latitude.

Figure 5. Tilt of Earth and Seasons
At 8° north latitude, Panama is close to the equator. It is between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn and gets a lot of sun. In April, the sun passes over Panama as it moves on farther north and then passes Panama overhead again in August on its apparent journey south. This more direct solar radiation is the main reason that Panama's temperatures and the tropics in general are warm with less temperature variation than the far northern countries.
The tilt of the earth also affects the length of the day. If the earth had no tilt, everyone on earth would have 12 hour days and 12 hour nights. Because of the tilt, days and nights vary depending on your latitude. Near the equator the days and nights are less variable in length (about 12 hours). In the northern and southern latitudes, the length of days and nights depend on the particular latitude where you are located and the particular season. You probably remember those long summer days and those short winter days while living up north? Panama’s length of days and nights vary slightly over the course of the year but only by a few minutes. Boquete basically has about 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness throughout the year.
World climate patterns are typically classified with the Köppen Climate Classification Scheme using average annual temperature and precipitation data. According to this system of classification, Panama is a mix of “Short Dry Season” (Am) and “Topical Wet and Dry” (AW) climates. "Am" climates have a short dry season but sufficient moisture to keep the ground wet throughout the year. "AW" climates have a distinct dry season and at least one month with precipitation < 60 mm. Here is a link to a good quality high resolution Köppen climate map (1.9MB) with enough detail to show that Panama is a mix of "Am" and "AW" climates. Figure 6 is a clip of this map. Note that the northern most part of the Boquete District and the Province of Bocas del Toro are in the "Am" classification. The remainder of the Boquete District is in the "AW" classification.

Figure 6. Köppen Classification of Central America
In short, when you live in Panama, you are living on a little piece of land with a lot of ups and downs bathing in a large tub of water and basking in a whole lot of sun in the middle of the tropics! This helps to explain why we have much warmer temperatures than northern countries, but it doesn't completely explain why we have a dry and a wet season? This comes next.
Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone [top]
Before diving into the main cause of our dry and wet seasons we need to review a bit of basic meteorology. I will try and make this as painless as possible. Perhaps you should go and get another cup of that wonderful Boquete coffee before taking the plunge into this section. Caffeine helps!
Because of the direct solar radiation on the earth, the land or water beneath it is heated and this causes the air over it to be heated and to rise. If the air is over large bodies of water like oceans or lakes, the water evaporates into the air and the air becomes laden with moisture. Warm air holds a lot of moisture. The heated air rises. As this heated moist air rises, it eventually cools, the water condenses around particles and clouds are formed. If the clouds have a lot of moisture and and plenty of heat they rise higher and higher until the water condenses even further and it rains. The rising of the heated air also causes upward air movement and a lowered air pressure closer to the earth. Where there is a lower pressure in the atmosphere, replacement air moves into the lower pressure area to try and equalize the pressure. This causes air to flow into the low pressure area which will then rise upward again with moist air making a continuing circulating mass of air.
Due to the heat from the direct solar radiation that circles the equatorial zone of the earth, a lot of warm moist air rises in this area creating a low pressure at the surface. Air flows into this low pressure area from the northern hemisphere (northeasterly winds) and from the southern hemisphere (southeasterly winds). Where the winds come together (converge) the warm air rises upward very high (troposphere) where it then bends and flows northward and southward toward the respective poles (see Figure 7). At about 30° north and south latitudes the flow of air bends downward toward the surface to lower pressure areas below and then flows back toward the equator to once again converge and rise. This flow of circulation forms air cells called Hadley Cells which generate the earth’s major air circulation masses and related wind systems (See Figure 8 from Lutgens and Tarbuck, 2007). These air movement systems are also affected by the rotation of the earth which bends and changes their direction (coriolis force). The circulation cells that most affect this part of the world form the Trade Winds. In the northern hemisphere the Trade Winds begin about 30° north latitude and blow in a northeasterly direction toward the lower equatorial pressure. In the southern hemisphere the Trade Winds begin about 30° south latitude and blow in a southeasterly direction toward the lower equatorial pressure. Where the winds meet near the equator, the air is of course heated, the pressure lowered, and if it is over water gets filled with moisture to rise again and continue the ongoing cell dynamics.

Figure 7. Basic Circulation in Equatorial Zone

Figure 8. Hadley Cells and Winds
The low pressure equatorial area were the flow of northeasterly and southeasterly winds converge and the sun heats the land or water causing moisture filled air to rise into towering cumulous clouds (cumulonimbus) is one of nature’s most powerful energy systems that fuels tropical weather. This system encircling the earth is called he Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). It is where the Trade Winds converge, pressure remains low, and lots of towering clouds with thunderstorms develop. It is an area of relative calm horizontal surface winds known as the “Doldrums” named by sailors of the past because of the hot humid nonmoving air that could stall sailing vessels for long periods. The ITCZ is an area where there are many clouds, thunderstorms, lightning and heavy downpours of rain. Consequently, the ITCZ is also the water system for the lush verdant belt of vegetation know as rainforests. The ITCZ nurses the Earth’s Tropical Rainforests. The ITCZ is not a continuous band around the earth but rather a discontinuous band due to a number of factors that include the differing temperatures of land masses and ocean areas (See Figure 9 from Lutgens and Tarbuck, 2007 and figure 10).

Figure 9. ITCZ and Hadley Cells
Figure 10. ITCZ, Hadley Cells and Wind Systems
If the ITCZ continuously encircled the earth and did not move north or south, there would be a band of clouds and thunderstorms stationed around the center of the earth in the same area that would generate a constant band of warmth and precipitation. You can think of it this way, if you were standing somewhere under such an ITCZ, you would be warm and get very wet! It would be hot and humid all the time. If you were not standing under it, but standing either to the north or south of this ITCZ you would be warm but dry.

Due to the tilt of the earth, the ITCZ is not static but migrates north and south over the course of the year. During the months of January and February, the ITCZ is in a southern most position while during the months of July and August, it is in a northernmost position (See Figure 10). In Panama, the ITCZ moves south of us from December to April and moves upon us from May to November. As it leaves and moves more south of us, we have little or no rain – the Dry Season. When it moves more northerly and is closer to us or over us, we have rain, usually in the form of thunderstorms – the Wet Season. The months of April and November

Figure 10. ITCZ shift from January to July
are usually transition months gradually working us into or out of the Wet Season or Dry Season respectively.
Here are a couple of useful links to better understand the ITCZ (Wikipedia, MSN Encarta). The article by Dr. Brian Giles at the MSN Encarta Link is the best succinct description of the ITCZ that I have found. Below is a beautiful NASA satellite image of the ITCZ with Panama down there somewhere. You can click on the image to download a higher resolution file of the image.
Link to Higher Resolution Image
So there you have it. The ITCZ is the culprit. It is the main large atmospheric system that drives our wet and dry seasons. It creates most of our tropical weather and climate. So when it is either too dry or too wet in Boquete, you can utter the four word curse “Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone” or use a four letter word "ITCZ" if you can pronounce it (It-see?).
Winds [top]
Another significant factor affecting Boquete District weather is the wind. At times there are winds from the north. At other times there are winds from the south. While at other times, there are no winds. Typically, strong northerly winds occur during the dry season.
The northern hemisphere Trade Winds come from the northeast as a result of the Hadley Cell dynamics mentioned previously. This is the fuel that propelled early explorers on their trade journeys from Europe to the Caribbean from which the name trade wind was derived. When they got closer to the equator in the ITCZ, they ran the risk of no winds or the so-called "Doldrums."
During the wet season, while Boquete is under the strong influence of the ITCZ, we are essentially in the “Doldrums” and generally have little to no northern wind. When the ITCZ moves south, we are no longer as directly under the influence of the ITCZ and become more directly bombarded by the northeast trade winds that are rushing toward the lower pressure of the ITCZ. When the ITCZ is in the most southerly position during the months of January, February and March, we experience the strongest northeastern winds. Boquete can be a very windy place during these months. This is nothing new. In 1911, the naturalist Henry Pittier explored Chiriqui as well as other parts of Panama and wrote about the adventure in a 1912 National Geographic article. He rode horseback from David to Boquete. His description of the 3 day 25 mile journey is very interesting. He commented:

"Going north in the direction of the Chriqui Peak, one is soon struck by the peculiar range of low hills running, as it seems between the plains and the mountains and parallel to the sea-coast. The road winds between these and , mostly following the Dolega River, ascends gradually toward El Boquete. The general incline is so insensible that one travels nearly 25 miles before reaching the foot of the volcano, at an altitude of about 3000 feet. The ride is mainly across savannas or through what ecologists call a parklike landscape.

During the dry season the long stretches, bare of arboreous vegetation, are constantly swept by the north trade wind, which attains its major intensity between 9 o'clock a. m. and 3 o'clock p. m., and is often of such violence that even the horses find it difficult to stand and to proceed on their way. Every detail of the surrounding landscape bears the impress of the wind. In the most exposed places the surface of the soil is submitted to an active aerial erosion, the minute particles of the ground being whisked away the moment they become loose." page 631


At times there are breezes from the south, but they are typically milder than the northern trade winds. The southern breezes are related to sea breezes as well as southeast trade winds. Sea breezes are the result of the land heating more rapidly than the ocean. During the day, this causes the cooler air off the water to blow inland. This tends to push clouds inland that have formed over the water and the shoreline. Southeastern winds and sea breezes off the Pacific Ocean often move the towering cumulonimbus clouds from the coast and lowlands northward. Which of course, delivers the thunderstorms in the afternoons.

Yes folks, the bad news is that there are winds in Paradise as well as thunderstorms and earthquakes! But the good news is that there are few to no hurricanes that directly hit Panama because of the routes that hurricanes usually take in the hurricane rich Atlantic-Caribbean area. Although the paths of hurricanes north of Panama can come close and have an impact on our weather, only one, Hurricane Martha in 1969, has struck Panama during recorded weather history.
Orographic Lifting [top]
Another consideration in understanding Boquete weather is the effect that the rising terrain from David to Boquete has upon clouds. As air rises, it cools. The cool air cannot hold as much moisture and as the clouds laden with moisture continue to rise, the moisture condenses, thunderstorms develop and at a certain point buckets of rain pour forth. As clouds are pushed by the winds from lower to higher terrain, the clouds are lifted, cool and tend to drop their rain. This lifting of clouds over mountains is called in meteorology orographic lifting. What typically happens is that clouds rising over mountains drop their rain as they rise and then on the other side have no rain left to donate on the other side and there is drought on the other side (called the "leeward side").
Thunderstorms [top]

Thunderstorms are the main vehicle delivering the rains to the Boquete District. As the earth is heated during the day, air over heated water gathers large amounts of moisture. As the air rises, clouds form and often evolve into the towering giant clouds called cumulonimbus. These clouds develop rapidly and complete their 3 phase cycle within several hours or less (See Figure 11 below) Note that these clouds often reach to heights of over 40,000 feet. Lightning and thunder are the awesome associates of these storms and harbingers of quick heavy rains. Typically areas of the world that are closest to the ITCZ have lots of thunderstorms and lightning strikes.

According to Lutgens and Tarbuck (2007) over 2000 thunderstorms are in process at any given moment They go on to say: "...As we would expect, the greatest proportion occurs in the tropics, where warmth, plentiful moisture, and instability are always present. About 45,000 thunderstorms take place each day, and more than 16 million occur annually around the world. The lightning from these storms strikes Earth 100 times each second." Panama is an area of the world that has numerous annual thunderstorms and lightning strikes. These are awesome forces of nature to be understood and respected. Living in Boquete, it is worthwhile to become educated about thunderstorms and be aware of lightning safety. Develop a healthy respect for thunderstorms.

Figure 11. Stages of Thunderstorm Development
Now that you know the basic facts that Panama is a small piece of land, surrounded by water, in a warm place called the tropics, with a lurking culprit called the ITCZ (with associated thunderstorms, a dry season, a wet season), times of strong northerly wind, sea breezes, no wind, and that clouds pushed inland over rising terrain often dump rain, we can start talking more specifically about the Boquete area and it’s weather! This may be a time for some more of that Boquete coffee….
The Terrain of Boquete [top]
During the Dry Season, the northeast trade winds come over the Caribbean from the northeast but their exact entry into the Boquete District is affected by the variations of mountain terrain elevation, ridges, and ravines. The friction from all of this variation alters the course of the winds. The surface winds from the Caribbean have to push upward over, around and through the saddles and ravines of the Talamanca Range and then drop down into the bowl or "the hole" of Bajo Boquete and on down the slope to the lowlands of David to the south. Their course at the surface encounters many frictions. The north winds vary considerably in their strength and direction due to this geographical adventure. Some places in the District are very windy while others are not. During the dry season, especially the months of February and March, persistent northern winds bombard the Boquete District with the variations depending upon your particular location, niche or perch. Follow this link for an illustration of the potential effects of the terrain upon the flow of the northeast trade winds through the District of Boquete.
During the dry season, the northern winds can carry some moisture over the mountain range from the Caribbean Sea into the northern part of the Boquete District. This is especially the case at the higher elevations and into the Subdistricts of Los Naranjos, Jaramillo and Bajo Boquete. Since the Boquete District is on the leeward side of the mountains relative to the Caribbean cloud systems, the moisture that gets pushed over from the Caribbean side usually comes in the form of a mist or light rain that is locally called the “bajareque.” It is a fine but very wet mist. Because of this dry season moisture, the northern part of the Boquete District and the Province of Bocas del Toro get more constant rains and are classified as Am tropical climates (short dry) rather than Aw (with wet and dry seasons) climates.
During the wet season, mornings are often clear with notable cumulonimbus cloud systems forming in the south over the Pacific coast-line. By afternoon these clouds become fully developed thunderstorm systems that often move inland (northward) from David pushed by southerly winds and sea breezes. These towering systems make their climb (orographic lifting) into the Boquete District. They dump their heavy rains along the way from David and upward toward the Talamanca Range. A more typical day during the wet season in the Boquete District is to wake up to generally clear skies and sunshine. As the day progresses, you see cumulous clouds developing in the south and then growing into towering cumulonimbus systems. By mid afternoon, the cloud systems move into the area and rain falls. The thunderstorm rains last for varying amounts of time, but usually not more than a couple of hours. Slow steady stratus cloud rains from from the Caribbean are unusual but occasionally occur during the wet season.
Because the Boquete District is a large area with a lot of variation in elevation and terrain, there seem to be many microclimates. While this makes sense and there is a lot of folklore discussion about these microclimates, there is not a lot of available data from which to draw solid conclusions. In general, public climate data (temperature and precipitation) for the Boquete District is not readily available. It is not clear if and when there were ever formal weather stations in the District. At present there are no government weather stations in this area. In preparing this paper, I was only able to find limited data from the World Climate web site indicating that some data was apparently collected in the past in the Los Naranjos Subdistrict. Data for several Panama cities is also available at the World Meteorological Organization Web Site, but none is specifically listed for the Boquete District. What I did find for David, Bocas del Toro and Los Naranjos indicates that Bocas del Toro receives the most annual rainfall with an average of 136 inches a year. The Caribbean side tends to get more warm wet air and precipitation each year. This is probably due to the northeast trade winds blowing over the Caribbean and the air masses being lifted over the north side of the Talamanca Range. Boquete is on the leeward side of this orographic lifting. David receives an annual average of 103 inches. Los Naranjos receives 98 inches a year. To better understand the matter of microclimates in the District of Boquete a more formal investigation is needed. Weather stations need to be strategically placed in each of the 6 Subdistricts and data collected over an extended period of several years to determine the realities of microclimates. Until that is done, whatever information there is about microclimates is unreliable hearsay.
Monitoring Boquete Weather [top]
Currently, there is no official government weather station in the Boquete area that reports weather conditions. The closest published weather station is in David at the airport. Interestingly, the David station does not report precipitation. There is no doppler radar. While David weather is of interest in understanding what is going on in the Chiriqui area and may give some indication of what may be moving north, it doesn't deliver any specific useful information for the geologically highly varied Boquete District.
Panama appears to have a very limited system of weather stations and reporting. There is basically no government weather agency. Weather stations in Panama are managed by the electrical company ETESA (Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica, S.A., Gerencia de Hidrometeorología). At their website they have information about Panama climate and daily forecasts. It is not clear what methods they are using to make thier predictions. They have recently greatly improved their website so that is functional and provides more information. You can read their statement of activities and functions at this link. It is not clear
To monitor weather in this area, we have to rely heavily upon the highly developed weather services out of North American and Europe. The United States has the most highly developed weather monitoring and forecasting system (NWS) in the world. The reasons for this are many but include the safety of aviation and marine operations and the prevention of storm hazards. Because the continental U.S. is large and has a number of potential types of storm hazards (e.g. floods, blizzards, tornados, thunderstorms, hurricanes) it needs a good weather agency that can collect data and develop reliable prediction models. Because of all of this they are heavily invested in monitoring and forecasting weather. They have over 850 Automated Weather Observation Systems (AWOS), 155 WSR-88D Doppler Radar Sites, and a host of weather satellites with various remote sensors. The annual budget of NOAA and the NWS is more than the total annual budget of Panama!

Because the U.S. is particularly vulnerable to the devastating effect of natures biggest and most powerful storms, hurricanes, especially in the North Atlantic-Caribbean area and the Eastern Pacific Ocean, a very elaborate technical system is in place to monitor and forecast tropical storms. If this were not the case, we would have very little weather information available to us in Panama to monitor the weather. You will quickly note that most of the links to weather information for this web site link to U.S. weather resources especially those related to remote satellite imaging and sensing.

There are several private weather stations in the District of Boquete. Two are online (Palmira & Santuario) and links are provided at this web site. I know of other stations but I don't think they are online. If you know of others, let me know and I will add the links.
A note of caution is in order regarding private weather stations. Private weather stations vary considerably in placement, price and quality. Calibration of the sensors may or may not occur. Consequently, the reliability of information from private stations can vary not only due to station location and microclimates, but also due to the quality of equipment, its calibration and maintenance. When checking the readings of private stations consider all of this and use the data with caution. Check and note when the data was last updated. If the station doesn't indicate when the information was last updated don't trust it. Also, if the data doesn't make sense don't trust it. When you note problems, be sure to contact the station operator for clarification and rectification.
Forecasting [top]

The first step in forecasting weather requires the collection of accurate data with good weather stations. Without good sensors and reliable data, it is not possible to develop forecasting models. In other words, no good data -- no good forecasting! Consequently, it is currently very difficult to accurately forecast weather here in Panama. There are too few and inadequate stations sensing data to develop reliable forecasts. Another challenge is that tropical forecasting is inherently difficult. Added to this is the fact that thunderstorms are rapidly developing and moving focal systems that can only be studied and tracked with doppler radar sites. In addition to several quality weather stations, 1 or 2 doppler radar sites are needed in Chiriqui to monitor and forecast the weather associated with the many thunderstorms. In the guide section of this web site, I discuss how I monitor and forecast the weather using the weather products that are available locally and in the U.S. via the internet. I am gradually learning more about the daily ebb and flow of weather here and how to forecast the happenings. I will post climate data as it accrues.

Summary [top]

There you have it. The cat is out of the bag! The major factors causing the weather and climate of the District of Boquete are the location of Panama in the Tropics, a small package of land surrounded by a lot of water, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, thunderstorms and the lifting of air over terrain (orographic lifting). The dry and wet seasons are a direct result of the shifting of the ITCZ north and south over the course of the year.

Hopefully, you better understand the weather and climate of this beautiful part of the world. You can use this web site to monitor the weather as you smile, sip your morning Boquete coffee and enjoy the mystery of it all.
I am committed to improving this discussion and this web site. I welcome your comments and suggestions. Get to know us and contact us.
References [top]
Aviation Weather: For Pilots and Flight Operations Personnel (revised 1975) Washington D.C.:U.S. Government Printing Office.
Goldstein, M. (2002), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weather (2nd Edition) Indianapolis:Alpha Books.
Lutgens, F.K., Tarbuck, E.J. (2007), The Atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology (10th Edition) New Jersey:Pearson Prentice Hall.
Pittier, Henry (July 1912), Little-Known Parts of Panama, The National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 23, No. 7, Washington D.C.:National Geographic Society.
Sánchez Pinzón, M. (2006), Boquete: Valley of the Eternal Rainbow ISBN:996-8816-6-8
(last updated 12/02/08)

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