only three degrees south of the Equator, the weather in Iquitos is surprisingly
pleasant, rarely too cold and never really hot. The normal nightly low
temperature is about 70° F (22° C), while the daily high is seldom much higher
than 90° F (32° C). Surprisingly too is the fact that the frequent
Amazonian rains seldom limits activities as the rain storms are usually of short
duration and one can simply wait a short while and the storms usually dissipate
quickly as they are normally widely scattered. Temperature and
precipitation in the Amazon have a predicable relationship. For example,
if it heats up relatively early in the morning, you can generally be assured that
it will rain later on in the afternoon, thus cooling things off and preventing
the oppressive heat characteristic of other regions such as the Southern United
States or the Caribbean.
question is if there is a rainy season in the Amazon. The answer is not
that simple and it really depends on what part of the Amazon you are in.
Iquitos, Peru has a more even rain fall pattern as compared to areas further
west. However, most years there is a distinctive
"rainy season" lasting from March through May. The "dryer season" is from
June throught August which is also the slightly "cooler season."
From June throught August the average rainfall is about 40% lower than the
"rainy season" (months of March through May). Overall, the monthly average
rainfall in Iquitos is about 10 inches. That said, every year is
different, and some years there are actually droughts in Iquitos with water
being rationed by the City of Iquitos, an example being in 2005.
In the Andes
Mountains (e.g. Cusco) the rainfall pattern is much less even than in the Amazon
Rainforest with typical summer rains and winter droughts. However, this
summer rainfall pattern extends well into the Amazon and the foothills of the
Andes (e.g. Machu Picchu) are a case in point in that they are essentially
high-jungle Amazonian areas, yet have a distinctive high rainfall season more
similar to Cusco than do the lower Amazonian regions like Iquitos.
The rainy weather in Iquitos and the Amazon is in
stark contrast to the Peruvian capital of Lima which is located on the Pacific
Coast. In Lima, it very rarely rains, being in the rain shadow of the
Andes Mountains. The average yearly precipitation in Lima is less than one
inch per year, while in Iquitos it is more than 100 inches per year.