February 05, 2015

Can We Really Trust the Weather in Cuenca Ecuador (Andes Mountains)?

Question from a reader: Frank & Angie, Quick question if you please....I've looked at many, many videos of Ecuador, specifically Cuenca and I see people wearing jackets and coats all the time. But everywhere I read, it states how great the weather is. I've looked on several weather web pages and they can vary as much as 15 degrees. Can you give me a typical day in Cuenca pertaining to the weather? I live in Texas and do not like cold weather.

Frank and Angie Respond:  Are the blogs still saying the weather is “perfect” or “great”, in Cuenca?  The minute we got here we knew we had been duped about the weather being perfect.  Four years ago the travel promoting magazines and blogs used to say the weather was spring-like or perfect in Cuenca.
 

We appreciate the fact you trust our observations enough to ask us about the weather in Cuenca Ecuador. We can only tell you what we have experienced since living here. 

We made a video of a typical weather day in Cuenca over three years ago, and well, that video still stands up to what we demonstrate a typical weather day in Cuenca looks and feels like today.
                    
The reason why weather reports differ by so many degrees is because in a single day Cuenca’s weather can change from cool  and cloudy to warm and sunny. When you read on all the blogs to dress in layers, they really mean DRESS IN LAYERS; otherwise if you don’t, you’ll wind up either being too hot with long sleeves on, or two cold with just a t-shirt on.  The weather in the Andes can be unpredictable.

We've never yet been able to trust what the weather is going to do in Cuenca; for that reason we bring an umbrella and a rain jacket in our packs when we go out for the day, and we usually end up using one of them.
 

Mornings in Cuenca can be somewhat brisk but really sunny and by afternoon it will be cloudy and cooler, but not cold.  On other days just reverse what I said; brisk and cloudy in the morning, and warm and sunny in the afternoon, and then cloudy again. For some people perhaps the weather here is spring-like and perfect, but for many others it is not.
 

We think that people coming from Canada, Seattle, and Portland and other places where it is cool and cloudy will absolutely LOVE Cuenca weather if they already like their own weather. On the other side of that coin, people coming from sunny Texas, South/North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and anywhere in the hot south will probably think it is cloudy and chilly here, especially inside the homes and apartments. So “how you will like the weather” depends a lot on what you are used to now.  Here some more observations we have noticed about the weather in Cuenca.
 

- It never snows in Cuenca and it rarely goes over 80 degrees.

- It never (very rarely) freezes in Cuenca but it can get into the mid to low 30's at night during the winter.  

- The sun is potent, and when it comes peeking out of the clouds expect to get sun burnt on any skin that is not covered, unless you wear sunscreen. 

- It does not rain as much as the weather reports show; in fact Cuenca can have droughts where it does not rain for weeks. 

- It can rain for days in Cuenca and the sun barely ever comes out for weeks at a time like the weather is now between January 18th to February 5, 2015; it has rained almost every day and it has been VERY cloudy. 

- Humidity levels can be high in Cuenca and walking around in 70 degree days can make you break out in a sweat. 

- Homes are prone to having mold growth because of no ventilation and you will always need to keep windows open for air flow even though its chilly out. 

- Homes stay chilly but once you go outside and start walking around you warm up FAST.  Most of the gringos have portable gas or electric heaters for those chillier days in the winter. 

- There are more sunny days in the winter here than in the summer.

- If it does rain, it usually pours but rarely lasts all day. It rains and in an hour the sun is shining again.  But then hides out behind the clouds.  Remember layers. 

- Frank says that looking at the Cajas Mountains in the mornings is a sure sign of what kind of weather the day will bring, and so far he has been almost right on. If there are clouds and mist just above the Cajas Mountains it will be mostly cloudy and rain is possible, but if you can see the peaks of the Cajas Mountains then it will be a nice day and it will stay a nice day. So far this has worked for us to know (sort of) what to expect.  But best to expect on and off, on and off rain clouds and sun all in one day.
 

Texas is sunny and hot, Cuenca is cloudy and (usually) warm, at least on most days. You probably just need to come here and experience the weather yourself to see if you will like it or not.

Below are some of the temps we have experienced while living in Cuenca.
       
      Cuenca Temps for Winter (June thru December)

Cuenca experiences daytime temps in the winter in the mid to upper 60's and sometimes (not as often) of 70ish temps. 70's usually come out when the sun peaks out of the clouds, which is more often than in the summer. Even in winter, when the sun comes out, it's t-shirt weather. However, Cuenca has cold fronts where its 50's windy and chilly and they last three days to a week or so. 

Cuenca's winter nighttime temps are usually in the upper 30's to low 40's and sometimes, (not as often) of 35 degrees and sometimes lower. 


 
          Cuenca Temps for Summer  (Jan thru May)

In the Summer temperatures are around the upper 60's to mid 70's. Night time temps are in the 40's and 50's. We have observed that it is cloudier in the summer than in the winter.
 

If you haven’t yet, watch the video and see what a typical day is like in Cuenca.  Bottom line you’re in the mountains and the clouds are never very far away even when the sun has been shining for several hours.  Don’t be fooled. 

Still don't trust the weather in Cuenca? Well then go here and read more about what the weather in Cuenca is like.

We're an Expat Family of Five Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy in Cuenca Ecuador! Enjoy the Discover Cuenca Ecuador blog!

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