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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-13 1 km (only VISible, unavailable on night). Updates each ½h.
Based on Costa Rica satellite images thanks to RAMMB and CIRA programs (Colorado State University).
- * -
* 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)
Few 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):
Saturday 6 February 2016 ☼☁ | ☼☁ | ✧☽☁
Partly cloudy | Trade Winds
This Saturday in Costa Rica high pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico will keep the trade winds accelerated this weekend. intense gusts as high as 85 km / h in Guanacaste and 70-80 km / h in the Central Valley are anticipated. This strong wind will generate partial cloudiness in the coasts and plains of Limon and the Northern Zone, in the mountains of these regions is expected sky ranging from partial to overcast with light rain, especially in the morning and evening. On the other hand, Guanacaste will be very dry and will be the region with the strongest gusts, the rest of the Pacific will have windy conditions in the mountains, with clear sky on the coast. For the Central Valley it will be predominantly clear, even in the mountains of east and north there could be occasional drizzles. Sunday It is expected that wind intensity increases, so high caution is advised.

Early Morning:
Central Valley: Clear, moderate wind.
North Pacific: Clear with moderate wind.
Central Pacific: Few clouds.
South Pacific: Few clouds.
North Caribbean: Partial cloudiness. Possible isolated rain.
South Caribbean: Partial cloudiness. Possible isolated rain.
North Zone: Partly cloudy with possible rain. Moderate winds.

Central Valley: Few clouds and moderate wind.
North Pacific: Sunny, moderate wind.
Central Pacific: From clear to partly cloudy.
South Pacific: Few clouds to partly cloudy.
North Caribbean: Partial cloudiness. Possible isolated rain.
South Caribbean: Partial cloudiness. Possible isolated rain.
North Zone: Partial cloudiness, possible isolated rain. Moderate winds.

Central Valley: Partly cloudy, moderate wind.
North Pacific: Few clouds. Moderate winds.
Central Pacific: Partial cloudiness.
South Pacific: Partial cloudiness.
North Caribbean: Partly cloudy.
South Caribbean: Partly cloudy.
North Zone: Partial cloudiness. Moderate winds.

Central Valley: Few clouds and moderate wind.
North Pacific: Clear with moderate wind.
Central Pacific: Few clouds.
South Pacific: Few clouds.
North Caribbean: Partial cloudiness.
South Caribbean: Partial cloudiness.
North Zone: Partly cloudy. Moderate winds.
Temperatures in Costa Rica

Temperatures (Max/Min ºC):
San José 23º/15º | Alajuela 28º/19º | Cartago 21º/14.1º | Heredia 27º/15º | Puntarenas 35.7º/26.8º | Liberia 34.6º/22º | Nicoya 32.5º/22.3º | Bagaces 33.9º/22.9º | Quepos 32.4º/25.6º | Parrita 35.2º/20.6º | Golfito 35.3º/21.7º | Isla del Coco 28.9º/28.4º | San Isidro de El General 27.3º/21.3º | Guápiles 28º/21º | Tortuguero 29º/21.3º | Limón 29.4º/17.7º | Sixaola 33.3º/19.4º | Ciudad Quesada 26.7º/15.4º | Upala 32.9º/18.9º | Sarapiquí 28.5º/21º

Source: Gabriela Chinchilla (Meteorologist) - Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN)

Costa Rica Weekly Weather Forecast (11 - 17 January 2016)

Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN)

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, weekly forecast included

Sunny/Clear to Partly cloudy | Trade Winds
 This week will remain moderate trade winds in the Central Valley and the North Pacific. There will be very little rain throughout the week, due to the presence of a mass of dry air in the Caribbean and Central America.

Extreme temperatures will remain due to the low cloudiness: cooler conditions at night and very warm in the day, with peaks of up to 35 ºC in Guanacaste and 30 ºC in the Central Valley. On the other hand in the Caribbean region will remain with some morning rain in the mountains the second half of the week.

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

Costa Rica Weather in the month of November

Monthly Weather Characterization from IMN

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, monthly information included

 November is characterized by the transition from the rainy season to the dry season in much of the Pacific and Central Valley, as well as a more rainy period in the Caribbean region; this is due to the occurrence of an increase in the trade winds, and the distancing of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Rainfall decreases throughout the Pacific slope, the Central Region and parts of the Northern Region. The dry season is first established in the North Pacific (giving rise to the Tropical Dry Forest) and then in the Central Region. In the Caribbean, rainfall increases on the coast, but decreases in the mountains.

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

Current Oceanic Influence (6 February 2016)

From USA National Hurricane Center Advisories

6 February 2016, 03:00 UTC
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 (6 February 2016, 01:45 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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