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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).
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* 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

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The only Official Information and Current Weather Reports in Costa Rica are from Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (National Weather Institute)
Partial Cloudiness 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):
Sunday 21 December 2014 ☼☁ | ☼☁ | ✧☽☁
Partly cloudy | Trade Winds
This Sunday in Costa Rica will be windy and partly cloudy in much of the national territory due to the low humidity of the country that hinders the formation of clouds. Still, there is a chance of rain in the early hours of the morning near the northern Caribbean coast. In the rest of the country, no significant rainfall is expected during the day.

Morning:
Central Region: Sunny, wind.
Northern Pacific: Sunny, windy.
Central & Southern Pacific: Sunny.
Caribbean: Partly cloudy to Cloudy, possible isolated rain.
Northern Region: Partly cloudy to Cloudy.

Afternoon:
Central Region: Partly cloudy, wind.
Northern Pacific: Slightly cloudy, windy.
Central & Southern Pacific: Partly cloudy.
Caribbean: Partly cloudy.
Northern Region: Partly cloudy.

Night:
Central Region: Partly cloudy, wind.
Northern Pacific: Clear, windy.
Central & Southern Pacific: Partly cloudy.
Caribbean: Partly cloudy.
Northern Region: Partly cloudy.
Temperatures in Costa Rica

Temperatures (Max/Min ºC):
San José 24º/16º | Alajuela 29º/18º | Heredia 26º/17º | Cartago 23º/15º || Liberia 34º/22º | Nicoya 33º/23º | Puntarenas 33º/23º || Quepos 33º/23º || San Isidro de El General 30º/20º | Golfito 33º/23º | Isla del Coco 30º/23º || Limón 30º/22º | Guápiles 31º/22º || Sixaola 32º/22º || Ciudad Quesada 24º/17º | Upala 32º/22º

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


Costa Rica Weekly Weather Forecast ( 15 - 22 December 2014)

Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN)

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, weekly forecast included

Partly cloudy to Cloudy | Trade Winds | Dry Season at Central Valley and Pacific | Rain at Caribbean and Northern Zone
 This week the windy pattern will persist in the country. At the same time, fresh air coming from the north of the continent will cause that the days and nights be cool, especially in the early morning.

Rainfall will continue in the Caribbean and the North Zone in the early days of the week, but in isolated character. From Thursday the arrival of a mass of dry air to the country is expected, causing an improvement in weather conditions in these regions to the weekend, so that a decrease in rainfall is forecasted.

In the Pacific slope afternoon showers are still predicted in the first half of the week. In the Central Valley, drizzles in the mountains and occasionally in the lowlands

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


Costa Rica Weather in the month of December

Monthly Weather Characterization from IMN

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, monthly information included

 December is the month known for being windy in the Central Valley, North Pacific and in the mountains, besides having greater recurrence of rainfall in North and Caribbean Zone, however according to estimates in the IMN deficit conditions of rain are expected in these regions, between 10% to 25%.

The dry season is consolidated in the North Pacific and the Central Valley, which means that rainfall events will be very few and isolated. The end of the rainy season for the Central Pacific is estimated between 7 to 11 December, while in the South Pacific between 22 to 26 December

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


Current Oceanic Influence (20 December 2014)

From USA National Hurricane Center Advisories

20 December 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 (20 December 2014, 21:45 UTC).
NOAA - National Weather Service
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Satellite Image of Caribbean Sea & Central America
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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:
1
- 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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