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Costa Rica Weather

Costa Rica 3D view  Costa Rica is located geographically only about eight degrees of north latitude of the equatorial line, thus Costa Rican climate is tropical all year round. However, because of the extraordinarily diverse amount of involved factors, the resulting country climate is a set of regional sub-climates. Therefore, the tropical weather of Costa Rica is greatly affected by its geography at the very local level. These factors include the totally heterogeneous relief (ranging from 0 to 3,431 m in only 51,100 km²) and the way as all its components (mountains, volcanoes, plains, valleys and plateaus) are distributed; the situation in respect to the two continental masses as American isthmus; the influence of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans (sea winds and ocean current with their own temperatures, besides low pressure systems, tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes) and the general atmospheric circulation.

(En Español: Clima de Costa Rica)

Current Weather of Costa Rica - Updated Satellite Image

Latest Image - GOES-12 1 km (VIS/Infrared on night). Updates each ½h.
Based on Costa Rica satellite images thanks to Space Science and Engineering Center (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
- * -
* As the image time is Universal Time Coordinated or UTC (as before with GMT), subtract 6 h to get Costa Rica time.

Costa Rica
Location: 9°55'N 84°4'W (At the center of America, in the American Isthmus).
Subdivisions: Provinces: 7, Cantons: 81, Districts: 473
Area: 51,100 km² (19,730 sq mi) | Population: 4,563,539 (2010)

Main Climatic Subdivisions:
Rainfall Regions (Drainage Basins Systems):
     Pacific: Dry and rainy period well defined. The dry one is from December to April.
     Caribbean: Dry period is not well defined (less rainy months have 100-200 mm of rainfall.
Climatic Regions:
     Northern Pacific, Central Pacific, Southern Pacific, Central Region, Northern Zone, Northern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean


The only Official Information and Current Weather Reports in Costa Rica are from Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (National Weather Institute)
Cloudy & Rainy Conditions Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feeds See its Current Weather and Forecast Report (In spanish, but is a graphically eloquent flash-animated map report):
Saturday 1st November 2014 ☼☁ | ☼☁☂ | ✧☽☁
Partly cloudy to Cloudy | Rain
This Saturday in Costa Rica begins the month of November, which is characterized by the transition from the rainy season to the dry season in much of the Pacific, and Central Valley, as well as the occurrence of an increase in the trade winds. This day there will be an increase in the trade winds, most evident at night. In the morning it will be fresh and with little cloudiness in Guanacaste, cloudiness in the Central Valley will be partial, increasing during the day. In the afternoon there will be rain and downpours in the Pacific, Central Valley and Northern Zone. It is expected that the rainy activity in the Caribbean and North Zone rise overnight Saturday and early morning at Sunday.

Central Region: Slightly cloudy.
Northern Pacific: Slightly to Partly cloudy.
Central & Southern Pacific: Partly cloudy.
Caribbean: Partly cloudy.
Northern Region: Partly cloudy.

Central Region: Partly cloudy.
Northern Pacific: Partly cloudy.
Central & Southern Pacific: Partly cloudy, isolated rain.
Caribbean: Slightly to Partly cloudy.
Northern Region: Partly cloudy.

Central Region: Partly cloudy.
Northern Pacific: Partly cloudy.
Central & Southern Pacific: Partly cloudy.
Caribbean: Partly cloudy.
Northern Region: Partly cloud.
Temperatures in Costa Rica

Temperatures (Max/Min ºC):
San José 25º/18º | Alajuela 28º/19º | Heredia 28º/18º | Cartago 24º/16º || Liberia 34º/23º | Nicoya 32º/22º | Puntarenas 33º/23º || Quepos 33º/22º || San Isidro de El General 29º/19º | Golfito 32º/23º | Isla del Coco 32º/24º || Limón 31º/22º | Guápiles 30º/20º || Sixaola 31º/22º || Ciudad Quesada 28º/20º | Upala 32º/22º

Source: Daniel Poleo Brito (Meteorologist) - Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN)

Costa Rica Weekly Weather Forecast ( 12 - 18 May 2014)

Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN)

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, weekly forecast included

Partly cloudy to Cloudy | Downpours & Thunderstorms | Rainy Season at Central Valley and Pacific
 This week there are anticipated conditions of the rainy season in Costa Rica. In the morning there will be partly cloudy sky and high temperatures, and in the evenings most abundant cloudiness with rain and downpours with thunderstorms.

The proximity of the Intertropical Convergence Zone will cause wetter and unstable conditions leading to an increase in cloudiness mainly in the evening period and the occurrence of rain and downpours with thunderstorms in the Central and South Pacific, as well as in the Central Valley and Nicoya peninsula; in more isolated way in the rest of the country.

Source: Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) - (Costa Rica National Weather Institute)

Costa Rica Weather in the month of May

Monthly Weather Characterization from IMN

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, monthly information included

  May is the month that has as main characteristic the full establishment of the rainy season in Costa Rica. The diurnal cycle of rainfall is well marked, mornings remain sunny and warm, while the evenings are usually cloudy with showers and even thunderstorms.

Source: Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) - (Costa Rica National Weather Institute)

Current Oceanic Influence (31 October 2014)

From USA National Hurricane Center Advisories

31 October 2014, 08:05 pm EDT
No Significant Climatic Disturbances
 The oceanic surroundings of Costa Rica remain with no significant climatic disturbances in this moment.

There are not significant climatic disturbances at this time.
Satellite photograph of Central America (31 October 2014, 21:45 UTC).
NOAA - National Weather Service
Satellite Image of Caribbean Sea & Central America
Sources: NASA / USA National Hurricane Center - NOAA / National Weather Service

Costa Rica Weather, General Description

 The seasons of Costa Rica climate are defined by the amount of rain that falls during a particular period of time. The year can be easily divided into two main periods or seasons, named by the local residents as "Verano", summer and "Invierno", winter. The "Verano" season is from December to April, and is the time of the year when there are more blue skies and few rains. The "Invierno" is the rainy period, from May to November, and during this time, in most locations, it rains constantly; with sunny mornings, sometimes cool, sometimes sweltering, and the rain coming during the first hours of afternoon.

The maximum rain quantity received is at the Northeastern lowlands, the Caribbean, near the Orosi Valley, Arenal and Monteverde areas, Talamanca Range, Osa Peninsula and Golfito (Southern Pacific) (annual rainfall of over 5,000 mm). Humidity is also higher on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific. The mean annual temperature on the coastal lowlands is around 80 °F (27 °C), 69 °F (21 °C) in the main populated areas of the Central Cordillera, and below 50 °F (10 °C) on the summits of the highest mountains. In the highest areas of Irazú Volcano (3,431 m) and Chirripó (3,810 m), temperatures sometimes can drop below 0 ºC.

The driest season of Costa Rica in most places is from December to April, while the rainy season is from May to November. On the Caribbean coast, however, December is by far the more wet month. The highlands areas are always cooler. The lowest elevation level in the country is the Pacific Ocean at sea level, the highest point is Cerro Chirripó, a somewhen glaciated mountain with an elevation of 3,810 m (part of Chirripó National Park). Even on a clear day, it is possible to see both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean from the top.

Notes & References:
- The standard air pressure at sea level in millibars is 1013.25 mba, which is the value of 1 atmosphere, or 1013.25 hPa in IS units (1 mba = 1 hPa).
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