Categories
 
  Costa Rica News
 
  Costa Rica Calendar of Events
 
  Costa Rica Travel Center
 
  Costa Rica Area Info
 
  Costa Rica Vacation Rentals
 
  Costa Rica General Info
  Entry Requirements
  Health
  Local Weather
  Costa Rica Food
  Costa Rica Non Profit Organizations
 
  Living & Retiring in Costa Rica
 
  Costa Rica Businesses
 
  Costa Rica Real Estate
 
  New: Granada, Nicaragua
 
  Classified Ads
 
  Community Forum
 
  Advertise
 
  Resources
 
 
 
  Panama Travel
  Contact Info:
sales@explorecostarica.com


Costa Rica Photo Gallery
 
Costa Rica Web Cams  
 



 

 

Search

Costa Rica General Info : Local Weather Last Updated: May 23rd, 2012 - 17:32:56


Weather in Costa Rica
By Marc Eggar
Sep 24, 2010, 11:43

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Weather in Costa Rica

Weather in Costa Rica

The climate of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is unequivocally a tropical country, situated between 8° and 11° North latitude, fairly close to the equator. Although in the mountains above 2000 meters you get much cooler temperatures, the average annual temperature for most of the country lies between 21.7°C (71°F) and 27°C (81°F). The coolest months are from November through January, and the warmest from March through May. San José, the capital, where over a third of the population lives, stands at approximately 1170 meters altitude and has a mean annual temperature of 20.6°C (69°F).

Costa Rica's climate is classically divided into two major seasons: rainy and dry. The dry season runs from January through May and the rainy season from May to November and December. Locally, the seasons were named by the early Spanish colonizers, who compared them to their own Mediterranean climate, calling the dry months "verano" or summer, and the rainy, grey and gloomy months "invierno" or winter. It is interesting to note that some of the coldest temperatures are registered during the early dry season or "summer". Climate is, of course, a complex phenomenon, and there are many aspects of the weather in Costa Rica that are worth examining in more detail, such as the influences of wind, rain, and topography

Weather in the tropics is essentially a phenomenon of solar radiation and air circulation. Intense heat at the equator puts air in motion, and a worldwide pattern of winds is established. The most famous of these, for Costa Rica, are the north-easterly trade winds, known locally as "alisios". These winds blow with considerable force from December to March and April. These winds, for example, are responsible for carrying moisture in the form of mists to the slopes of the Tilarán mountain range. These mists are what sustain the magnificent cloud forest ecosystem.

Rainfall patterns, although seasonal, vary greatly in intensity across geographical areas. Some locations receive over 6 mts (18 ft) of precipitation per year, while others receive under 1.5 mts (4 ft). Most of the total rainfall for any given site (about 70%) occurs on less than 15 days of a whole year, and will often be experienced as days of torrential downpour. Costa Rica may hold the world record for the amount of rainy days at one site. Hacienda Cedral registered 359 days of rain in 1968.

The topography of the country also has a great influence on the weather patterns of a given locality. As a result the timing of the dry and rainy seasons varies a bit on each slope of the mountain ranges that run from the north-west to the south-east and divide the nation into a Caribbean slope and a Pacific slope.

On the Caribbean slope the rainy season begins from mid to late April and continues through December and sometimes January. The wettest months are July and November, with a dry spell that occurs around August or September. Major storms, called "temporales del Atlantico" occasionally buffet this slope between September and February, when it will rain continuously for several days; but an average rainy season day will begin clear with a few hours of sunshine that will give way to clouds and rain by the afternoon. In contrast, the driest months of February and March, might be almost entirely without rainfall.

On the Pacific slope the rainy season begins in May and runs its course until November. Here again, days often begin sunny and pleasant, with rains coming later in the day. This is a period in which the trade winds coming from the north-east are much reduced in intensity, and as a result storms often come in from the Pacific Ocean in September and October. In the northern half of the country the Pacific slope experiences an intense dry season, in which no rain may fall for several months. The forests of the North-West are to a large extent deciduous, letting their leaves fall in order to conserve water. Winds can be very strong, occasionally reaching speeds of 90 km/hr in the lowlands, although they average more around 20 km/hr. The whole Central Valley, in which the capital is situated, experiences a mild, pleasant dry season that is matched by moderate temperatures for most of the year, and a lower than average amount of rainfall. Early settlers prized the area for both its mild climate and fertile soils. The southern half of the Pacific slope is much wetter than its northern counterpart, with a shorter dry season and longer and heavier afternoon rains in the wet season.

In a discussion of the climate in Costa Rica one cannot omit El Niño, "The Child". It is a poorly understood weather phenomenon that occurs every two to seven years. It is originally detectable as an unusual warming of a section of the Pacific Ocean. In 1997 El Niño struck Costa Rica once again, disrupting normal weather patterns considerably. Some scientists have postulated that this phenomenon might have been partially responsible for the disappearance of several species of frogs in the late 80's, which are extremely dependent on water. Each time it occurs analysts across the world hold their breaths waiting to see the effects it has on different regions, because they can often be disastrous.

 

Costa Rica Photo Gallery 
Costa Rica News | Costa Rica Real Estate | Living & Retiring  
 
Link to YOUR Website:Get A Business Information Page  
 
Add Your Costa Rica Business, Costa Rica Tours & Costa Rica Hotel FREE!


Have a Comment, Story
Experience or Tip to Contribute?

POST IT HERE


© Copyright 2004 by ExploreCostaRica.com

Top of Page

Headlines
Costa Rica News
First Costa Rica Winery
Costa Rica Soon To Enforce Smoking Ban
Firefighters Tackle Costa Rica's Chirripo National Park Fire
Costa Rica Calendar of Events
Costa Rica Current Events, Concerts, Festivals
Costa Rica: Jaco Beach News & Events Calendar
Costa Rica Mountain Bike Race Event
Costa Rica Travel Center
Costa Rica Flights with Nature Air
Costa Rica Week's Surf Forecast
Costa Rica Surf Mal Pais Association Results
Costa Rica Area Info
Tambor Beach on Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula
Tamarindo Sailing Adventures & Sunset Tour, Costa Rica
Tamarindo Massage by Shannon Vacca, Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica
Costa Rica Vacation Rentals
La Tortuga Vacation Rental, Tamarindo Costa Rica
Casa Bella Vista Vacation Rental in Manuel Antonio
DayStar Properties Vacation Rentals, Costa Rica
Costa Rica General Info
Jaco Beach: Non Profit Animal Care, McKee Project Jaco Costa Rica
Hands of Hope Non-Profit - Helping Children of Costa Rica
Weather in Costa Rica
Living & Retiring in Costa Rica
Driving Costa Rica's New Highway Towards Jaco
Costa Rica Banking - What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica Investments: Looking for Profitable Business Investment
Costa Rica Businesses
Pet Sitters in Costa Rica's Jaco Area
Doing Business in Costa Rica: Good Investment
Businesses Costa Rica Directory: Phone Number, Website
Costa Rica Real Estate
How To Sell Your Costa Rica Home Fast For the Best Price
Costa Rica Real Estate: San Jose Home for Sale
Costa Rica Real Estate
New: Granada, Nicaragua
Crossing The Border From Costa Rica to Nicaragua
Nicaragua Organizes Touristic Trade Show ‘Fenitur’
New Nicaragua Tour Packages
Classified Ads
Costa Rica Classifieds Ads - FREE !
Community Forum
Community Forums
Advertise
Business Information Page
Advertise on Explore Costa Rica.com
Website Customer Testimonials Costa Rica & US
Resources
Explore Costa Rica.com Hotels, Travel, Real Estate, Businesses & Tours Links
Web Cams
Resources
No articles available.
Panama Travel
Visit Panama from Costa Rica