The central plateaus, or high table-lands of the interior, have a climate of their own, subject neither to heavy rains nor excessive droughts.
Maria Fiallo Public records
The winds which reach them, as well from the west as the east, are first deprived of the greater Chap. From the circumstance that they lie nearest the Pacific, these plateaus partake most of the climate of that coast, with which their seasons also measurably coincide. The plain of Comayagua, situ- ated in the very centre of Honduras, and equidistant from the two great seas, may be taken as an illustra- tion.
More or less rain falls there during every month in the year; but, during the prevalence of the dry sea- son on the Pacific, it is only in the form of showers of brief duration, while during the wet season the rains are comparatively long and heavy. Continuous rains, or Tetiiporales, are unknown. These general remarks will be found supported by the following data, which comprise about all the infor- mation that I have been able to collect on this subject from personal observations or from authentic sources : Costa Tlica.
It must be observed that the rainy season on the Pacific and in the interior is from April to No- vember; but upon the Atlantic coast this order of things is reversed, and the rainy season is from No- vember to February. These observations were confined to the isth- mus which lies between Lake Nicaragua and the Pa- cific, at a point where the trade winds, sweeping through the valley of the San Juan River, and over Lake Nic- aragua, find no high mountains to precipitate their moisture until they reach the volcanic peaks of Ome- tepec and Madeira. Hence it happens that this Isth- mus of Bivas receives a greater amount of rain annu- ally than any other portion of the Pacific coast of Cen- tral America.
Total mean. The heat at no time of the year is as great as it is during the summer months in New York. At Jamaica, Long Chap. In respect of rain, the principal surveyor has given us the result of careful admeasurements made at Rivas for one year, from September 9th, , to September 25th, The amount was taken in inches and dec- imals, and is as follows : September, The whole number of days during which rain fell was , and the whole number of dry days was During the six months, from May to October inclusive, distinguished as the wet season, the whole fall was But these observations, as I have said, were made at Rivas, under the lee of the volcano of Ometepec, where more rain falls than at Granada or Leon, in the northern portion of the state.
At Rivas there was but one month, February, in which no rain fell. In , in Leon, no rain fell for three months, from the first of January to the first of April. The greatest fall in any one year during that period was It however diminishes rapidly as we penetrate inland. The modifying influ- ence of the neighboring mountains is felt even before the increase in altitude becomes perceptible. Her ta- ble-lands 'have, of course, a climate varying with their height above the sea, and their exposure to the pre- vailing winds.
Consequently, there can be no gener- alization on the subject of the climate of Honduras, except so far as to say that it has a variety adapted to every caprice, and a temperature suitable for the culti- vation of the products of every zone. Among the data on this subject are the observations made by Mr. All na- ture partakes of its influence, and few can tell the en- joyment expressed by the man who has been crouching round a fire in a cold wet north as he eagerly rushes out to enjoy the health-giving breeze.
Average Tem- perature.
Prevailing Winds. September 84o to u October. Wet : sometimes fine by being a dry north. Other observations were made, in , on the same coast, a little to the eastward of Black River, in the vicinity of Carataska Lagoon, by a competent Prussian commission, Messrs.
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Miiller, Fellechner, and Hesse. They were carried on from June 13th to August 2d of that year, with the following results : Observations at Carataska Lagoon from June 13th to August 2d, While these winds last, the mornings and evenings are cold, frequently unpleasantly so ; and what in this country is understood by a wet north, might perhaps furnish no very imperfect idea of a November day in England. A dry north, on the contrary, is beautiful, agreeable, and invigorating. During this time the wind blew steadily from the E.
Captain Haly, for twenty years a resident at Cape Gracias, states that during the coldest months, viz. During this period, the morn- ings were generally very pleasant, with showers from nine to twelve. The sea-breeze set in between twelve and one, and from that time until six in the evening it was clear.see url
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During the evening and night the land- breeze was accompanied with frequent violent showers. Months April part. May June Average. It may be observed here that, from certain peculiarities of the position of the city of Comayagua, its temperature rules higher than that of any other portion of the valley or plain in which it is situated.
The temperature of Las Piedras and of San Antonio, distant about fourteen miles, has a mean of from three to five degrees lower. A little place called U E1 Sitio," not twenty minutes' ride from Comayagua, and not perceptibly higher, has a mean of at least five degrees less. It should also be borne in mind that, in the interior, the months of April, May, and June are the hottest of the year, and that for the remaining nine months the temperature is considerably lower.
November, De- cember, and January are positively cool, and fires sometimes become necessary for comfort. My remaining direct observations on the tempera- ture of Honduras were too few and too disconnected to be of much value. The following data, however, may serve to illustrate its variety : City of Tegucigalpa, feet elevation, for four days, from April 28 to May 4, , inclusive: Maximum.
Intibucat, feet elevation, July 4, , six o'clock A. July 6, , 12 M. Rosa, Department of Gracias, feet above the sea, for three weeks during the month of July, Maximum.
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It rained for four days during the week, commencing at two o'clock P. The remain- ing three days were dry. Wind generally from S. Wind S. Rained every day. Rained five days, commencing at two o'clock P. Wind general- ly S. The Gazette calculates the entire fall of water for the rainy season at inches, or 5 inches per week. But I doubt if this be more than an estimate, for there are many reasons for believing that the amount of rain Chap. The aver- age amount of rain which falls in America, under the tropics, is calculated by Professor Johnson, in his Ta- bles, at inches.
Observations were made here by Captain George Henderson, commander of the garrison in the year , for seven months, from Feb- ruary to August inclusive, with the following results :f "February. In the summer months the average may be taken at ten degrees higher. It is equally superior to the climate of the West India islands generally, for persons whose health and constitutions have become impaired from the effects of the latter very frequently acquire a sudden restoration of both after an arrival in Honduras. This month being included in what is denoted the dry season, the rains that have fallen have been considered unusual.
The sea-breeze, which prevails with great regularity at this season, has been partial and moderate. Rains, with loud thunder, frequent during the night, sometimes accompanied with sudden and vio- lent gusts of wind.
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The conclusion of it, however, being cloudy, and attended with fre- quent heavy showers, shows the approach of the periodical rains. This season the rains have set in earlier than com- mon. Thunder at this time is also frequent, and sometimes tre- mendously violent. IIL] remarks on population. Attempts were made under the crown, and subsequently under the republic, to effect a complete census, but with very unsatisfactory results, since it has always been found that the ignorant masses of the people, and especially the Indians, avoid a census as in some way connected with military conscription or taxa- tion.
They have been known to abandon their homes, and hide themselves for weeks in the mountains, to es- cape the commissioners!
Again: the bulk of the Span- ish population exists on the Pacific slope of the con- tinent, while on the Atlantic declivity the country is either uninhabited, or sparsely occupied by Indian tribes, of which the number is wholly unknown. A considerable aboriginal population exists in the dis- trict of Peten, in the north of Guatemala, and there are several tribes, such as the Xicaques, Payas, Tonglas, Woolwas, Towkas, Ramas, Guatusos, etc.