Bogotá boasts a climate reassuringly familiar to the British palate.

The weather forecast almost invariably features rain in lesser or greater part, a telling sign of its schizophenic personality. The symmetrical cycle of 12-hour days, 12-hour nights, seems to run the gamut of possible weather without fail.

Today a gloomy, overcast morning gave way to glorious sunshine by midday, and temperatures soared from the doldrums of the low teens to a plateau of about 23-24°C in short shrift.

The sun at altitude is deceptively strong at these near-equatorial latitudes; Bogotá sits 2,600m above Colombia’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts, so while the mercury rarely tops today’s high, the sun has a burning sting in its tail for the uninitiated.

Late afternoon view over the city from my apartment window

By mid-afternoon, heavily laden storm clouds rolled down the valley and without further ado proceeded to hock thick goblets of rain at the grey streets 15 storeys below my window.

While the booming report of thunder echoed about the hills to my east, I snoozed peacefully in the flat turret to the accompaniment of the rain still whipping against the smog streaked glass.

Never a dull moment. And indubitably an opportune one to actually buy an umbrella.