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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).
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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)
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):
Thursday 19 January 2017 ☼☁ | ☼☁| ✧☽☁
Slightly to Partly cloudy | Trade Winds | Low Temperatures
This Thursday in Costa Rica the weather conditions remain dry and stable. In the morning there will be windy conditions and partial cloudiness in the Caribbean and mountainous North Zone, the rest of the country will be sunny. On the other hand, the Alisios winds will continue moderate, mainly in the Central Valley and the North Pacific. There is possibility of brief rains during the afternoon in the Central and South Pacific.

Early Morning:
Central Valley: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain on mountains. Windy.
North Pacific: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain on mountains. Windy.
Central Pacific: Partly Cloudy.
South Pacific: Partly Cloudy.
North Caribbean: Partly Cloudy.
South Caribbean: Partly Cloudy.
North Zone: Cloudy. Partly Cloudy.

Morning:
Central Valley: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain on mountains. Windy.
North Pacific: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain on mountains. Windy.
Central Pacific: Partly Cloudy.
South Pacific: Partly Cloudy.
North Caribbean: Partly Cloudy.
South Caribbean: Partly Cloudy.
North Zone: Partly Cloudy.

Afternoon:
Central Valley: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain on mountains. Windy.
North Pacific: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain on mountains. Windy.
Central Pacific: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain.
South Pacific: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain.
North Caribbean: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain.
South Caribbean: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain.
North Zone: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain.

Night:
Central Valley: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain on mountains. Windy.
North Pacific: Partly Cloudy to Cloudy. Possible isolated rain on mountains. Windy.
Central Pacific: Partly Cloudy.
South Pacific: Partly Cloudy.
North Caribbean: Partly Cloudy.
South Caribbean: Partly Cloudy.
North Zone: Cloudy. Partly Cloudy. Temperatures in Costa Rica

Temperatures (Max/Min ºC):
San José 20.0º/17.0º | Alajuela 28.0º/18.0º | Cartago 23º/12.0º | Heredia 23.0º/17.0º | Puntarenas 33º/23º | Liberia 33º/22º | Nicoya 31º/19º | Bagaces 30º/21º | Quepos 33º/19º | Parrita 33º/19º | Golfito 31º/20º | Isla del Coco 31º/21º | San Isidro de El General 28º/20º | Guápiles 26º/19º | Tortuguero 29º/19º | Limón 30º/20º | Sixaola 31º/20º | Ciudad Quesada 26º/18º | Upala 29º/21º | Sarapiquí 28º/20º

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


Costa Rica Weekly Weather Forecast (12 - 18 December 2016)

Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN)

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, weekly forecast included

Partly cloudy | Wind | Rain at Caribbean and Northern Zone | Low Temperatures
 This week features starting on Thursday, the dry season is beginning to accentuate both in the North Pacific and in the Central Valley, with wind and sparse rainfall predominating over the next few days. In the regions of Central and South Pacific during the weekend rains will continue presenting afternoon, although with a tendency to decrease to Sunday.

On the other hand, near the Caribbean coast, during Friday and Saturday there is a high probability of precipitation, which could enter the territory during the morning and the first hours of the morning of these days, reaching the North Zone and The mountain ranges in the afternoon

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


Costa Rica Weather in the month of December 2016

Monthly Weather Characterization from IMN

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 December is characterized by prevailing trade winds, as well as a reduction of rainfall in the Guanacaste and Central Valley areas. 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 (19 January 2017r)

From USA National Hurricane Center Advisories

19 January 2017, 01:45 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.
Latest Satellite photograph of Central America (19 January 2017).
NOAA - National Weather Service

There are not significant climatic disturbances.
Latest Satellite of Central America and oceanic surroundings (19 January 2017).
NOAA - National Weather Service
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 during the end and beginning of the year.

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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