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Feb 17 2014

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Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, Quepos, & Near San Isidro de General–2014

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, & Nuevo Arenal  – January 2014

Click to enlarge.

You’ll notice that we are now showing rainfall and temperatures for three towns in Costa Rica and in a format that makes it easier to compare the data and, perhaps, decide where you would like to live. Do you track the weather data for your town in Costa Rica? If so, we’d like to talk to you about including it in our monthly report.

We’re in the heart of the dry season, on the Pacific slope, while on the Caribbean slope, it’s still raining. Nuevo Arenal is almost on the Continental Divide, just barely on the Caribbean slope, so it receives some rain throughout the year. That’s why it stays so lush and green all year long. No wonder, it’s one of the “hot spots” for tourism and relocation in Costa Rica.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • It’s the high season (tourist season) in Costa Rica.
  • It’s Costa Rica’s summer — from November through May.
  • School is out from mid-December through 10 February.
  • Retire for Less is busy like crazy giving relocation and get-acquainted tours in the Central Valley and boat tours to Isla Tortuga where the Gulf of Nicoya meets the Pacific.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches.

Lance’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • It was an unremarkable month concerning both temperatures and rainfall, consistent with the dry season.
  • On January 21st, there was a trace of rain in downtown Atenas, but none where we live (approximately 2 miles away as the crow flies).
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches.

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • Even though we had 23 days with rain…
  • Most of those days had 1/4 of a inch or less.
  • It can rain any time of the day or night…
  • Which means, we still get a lot of sun.
  • It’s beautiful up here.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches.

Click to enlarge.

 

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Playa Matapalo  – February 2014

Click to enlarge.

You’ll notice that we are now showing rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica. We welcome Lance Miller to our team. He will be reporting the rainfall and temperatures from Playa Matapalo on the Pacific Coast.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • Lowest morning reading: 59 F on the 1st
  • Highest morning reading: 66 F on last day of the month, 28th
  • costa-rica-map_cropped4Zero rainfall entire month
  • Elevation is key to temperature in Costa Rica
  • Both elevation and topography can affect rain
  • Guanacaste area (Gold Coast): driest part of the country
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • 75 days and counting. Where we live near Atenas, this is the number of days from December 15 until the end of February without a measureable drop of rain.
  • Meanwhile, February 24 was the hottest day so far this year (87.6°F). But it was accompanied by a humidity of only 24%. According to the heat index formula used by the U.S. National Weather Service, this made for a “feels like” temperature less than the actual air temperature (84.5°F). Had the daytime humidity been 75% like one might sometimes find near the beaches, then the “feels like” temperature would have been near 100°F.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas..

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • February 2014 had the least amount of rainfall for any month since I began keeping records in 2011.
  • The dry weather has meant good hiking conditions and our guests have enjoyed the daily hike to the river that crosses our property.  Our great danes have searched in vain for fish because of the low water in the river.
  • Clean air, clean water, great community of friends & beautiful tropical surroundings…….what more could one want? We love Arenal – with views of Lake Arenal and Volcano Arenal.  It’s a dream come true for many!
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.Matapalo map

Lance M’s Playa Matapalo Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • Playa Matapalo is a small village, located between Quepos and Dominical on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.
  • The word Playa means beach.
  • Our home is a stone’s throw from the beach.
  • Playa Matapalo is 122 km. from the San Jose International Airport and 220 km. from Arenal.
  • The southern Pacific weather region receives approximately 150 inches of rain per year.
Temps_2014-02

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Rain-2014-02

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Playa Matapalo  – March 2014

Click to enlarge.

You’ll notice that we are now showing rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • We live at what I would call a “cool 3,000 ft.” above sea level.
  • The beaches at this time of year have highs of 90-100° F.
  • We live only 50 minutes from the closest nice beach with monkeys.
  • We haven’t had any rain yet in 2014.costa-rica-map_cropped4
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • As of March 31st, still no rain. Since December 15th of last year, that’s 106 days without rain.
  •  The highest temperature so far this year was 92°F on March 30. But it was a relatively dry heat. The accompanying humidity was 28%. So, using the heat index formula of the  U.S. National Weather Service, the resulting “feels like” temperature was 90°F.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas..

 

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • March 2014 had the least amount of rainfall for any month since I began keeping records in 2011.
  • The strong winds, which lasted through the month, kept things at a comfortable level and were welcomed by windsurfers and kite-boarders on Lake Arenal.
  • Tico Wind, one of the windsurfing sites, plans to be open until the end of April.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.

Matapalo map

Lance M’s Playa Matapalo Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • Playa Matapalo is a small village, located between Quepos and Dominical on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.
  • The word Playa means beach.
  • Our home is a stone’s throw from the beach.
  • Playa Matapalo is 122 km. from the San Jose International Airport and 220 km. from Arenal.
  • The southern Pacific weather region receives approximately 150 inches of rain per year.

Click to enlarge.

Rain-2014-03

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Playa Matapalo – April 2014

You’ll notice that we are now showing rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • April is usually the warmest month of the year in our part of the country.
  • April precipitation average is usually 2.0 inches. This year we got 1.9 inches. A couple of years ago, we got 11 inches of rain in April!costa-rica-map_cropped4
  • On the last day of April we got 1.25 inches of rain in less than 2 hours.
  • Most mornings are bright and sunny, giving way to clouds later in the day, with rain often in the afternoons.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • After a 108 day drought, the rains returned in April. They began with an unmeasurable sprinkle lasting not more than a couple of minutes on April 4th, and ended with 2 inch and 1.7 inch afternoon downpours on April 26th and 30th. Three other days had a small amount of measurable rain.
  • Otherwise, the weather in Atenas remained typical of the dry season – daytime temperatures in the upper 80’s, usually with comfortably low humidity; and nighttime temperatures in the upper 60’s, usually with moderately high humidity (cool and good for sleeping).
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas..

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • We have had eleven Great Danes, called “The Noble Dog,” since moving here twenty three years ago. One of our current Danes, Muki, keeps setting new longevity records. She is now ten years and seven months old. None of our others lived more than nine years (average). We attribute this to a new and healthier nutrition regimen which we began several years ago. Danes are loving and protective friends.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.

Matapalo map

Lance M’s Playa Matapalo Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • NOTE: there is no weather data for April for Playa Matapalo as I was out of the country for most of the month.
  • Playa Matapalo is a small village, located between Quepos and Dominical on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.
  • The word Playa means beach.
  • Our home is a stone’s throw from the beach.
  • Playa Matapalo is 122 km. from the San Jose International Airport and 220 km. from Arenal.
  • The southern Pacific weather region receives approximately 150 inches of rain per year.
Temps_2014-04

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Rain-2014-04

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Playa Matapalo – May 2014

Click to enlarge.

You’ll notice that we are now showing rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • The rainy season usually starts in mid-May, with an average of 8″ inches of rainfall for the month of May. Last year, we got almost 15″ in May. This May we only received 6.6 inches, so this year’s rainy season is starting out light in our part of Costa Rica.

costa-rica-map_cropped4

  • On May 27th, we left the country to travel in Mexico for three weeks, but our house sitters continued to collect weather data for us.
  • May in Costa Rica is the month for what we call “June Bugs” up north. This year the onslaught seemed lighter than in past years.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • Remember that the temperature and rainfall records are for our area of Atenas. If you check the weather reports online for “Atenas, Costa Rica,” they are very often wrong. Usually the weather given online is for the Juan Santamaria International Airport and just generalized for other areas.  This is a bad assumption and doesn’t account for the many micro-climates in Costa Rica.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas..

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • We have had eleven Great Danes, called “The Noble Dog,” since moving here twenty three years ago. One of our current Danes, Muki, keeps setting new longevity records. She is now ten years and seven months old. None of our others lived more than nine years (average). We attribute this to a new and healthier nutrition regimen which we began several years ago. Danes are loving and protective friends.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal. 

Matapalo map

Lance M’s Playa Matapalo Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • Well, the rainy season has started here. One important weather note for folks thinking of retiring in the southern zone to be aware of is the high humidity. The temperature may say it is 90 degrees, but you need to look at the humidity as it can feel like it is well over 100 degrees.This is called the “real feel” here, much like the heat index the weather man uses in the States.
  • Playa Matapalo is 122 km. from the San Jose International Airport and 220 km. from Arenal.
  • The southern Pacific weather region receives approximately 150 inches of rain per year.
Temps_2014-05

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Rain-2014-05

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Playa Matapalo – June 2014

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

You’ll notice that we are now showing rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • Is El Niño affecting the rainfall? Maybe! In May, we only had 6.6” and in June, 8.4” — low totals, below average, for both months.
  • No rain in late June. Is it the Veranillo de San Juan (“little summer”)? It’s not so rainy this rainy season so far in our part of the countrycosta-rica-map_cropped4.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • As the crow flies, we live about 2 miles west of the town of Atenas in an area called Vista Atenas. In turn, Atenas is about 16 miles west of the Juan Santamaria International Airport. On any given day, the weather conditions in all three places can differ. At higher altitude, Vista Atenas tends to be cooler than Atenas. If you check out the weather for “Atenas” on the internet, you are apt to get information which superficially seems to apply to Atenas but which actually is weather being observed or forecast at the airport. For example, on June 26 when two different internet weather services (ForecaAccuWeather) were reporting “clear” or “partly cloudy” conditions in Atenas, it was actually overcast and raining. The reports might have been true for the airport, but certainly not Atenas. Not infrequently, the reverse is true. It appears that both weather services simply assume that the weather in Atenas is the same as at the airport. With Costa Rica and its microclimates, this is a bad assumption.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas..

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • June 2014 was the second wettest month since I started keeping records, surpassed only by the 28.5 inches that fell in October 2011.
  • There were more birds than usual coming to our feeding stations, especially hummingbirds.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.

Matapalo map

Lance M’s Playa Matapalo Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • One important weather note for folks thinking of retiring in the southern zone to be aware of is the high humidity. The temperature may say it is 90 degrees, but you need to look at the humidity as it can feel like it is well over 100 degrees.This is called the “real feel” here, much like the heat index the weather man uses in the States.
  • In June, the “real feel” high temps ranged from 105.0° F to 128.0° F, with an average of 112.0° F.
  • The sea turtles are beginning to come ashore and lay their eggs. We  have a turtle hatchery just down the beach that is manned by foreign students from around the world that volunteer to watch 24/7 for the sea turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs. The students then collect the eggs and bury them in sand in the hatchery. Once the eggs hatch the baby turtles are released back into the ocean.
  • The southern Pacific weather region receives approximately 150 inches of rain per year.
Temps_2014-06

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Rain-2014-06

 

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Quepos – July 2014

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

You’ll notice that we are now showing rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for July:

  • Normal July rainfall is over 10 inches. Last year we had 8 inches. This was a very dry July at only 2.9 inches.
  • We spoke at the International Living Costa Rica conference in July. You can watch some of the highlights of one of our presentations here.
  • We had 8 people (four couples) take our July healthcare tour.
  • We’re seeing more monkeys lately around our house as our bananas ripen. We currently have about 8 bunches in various stages of growth on the plants on the property.
  • costa-rica-map_cropped4Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for July:

  • In July, the total measured rainfall in Atenas was 3.8 inches – down 40% from July 2013. On two days (July 2 and July 14), there were downpours totaling 3.1 inches. Typically, these days began with clear or mainly clear skies, followed dark clouds and torrential rains for 1 or 2 hours in the early afternoons — not to mention severe thunder and lightning. Afterwards, it cleared up as if nothing** had happened.
  • The highest recorded temperature (91.3°F) was up 4°F from July 2013. For many, this temperature might seem to push the envelope of comfort. But, unlike the Eastern USA and Canada, the humidity was low — nice for sleeping without air conditioning.
  • It appears that the effects of El Niño predicted in April for the Central Valley (namely drought) are upon us. See, for example, this April 11th article in AM Costa Rica.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas.

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for July:

  • We broke the rainfall record, making July 2014 the wettest month since I started keeping records in 2011.
  • Since the northwest part of the country is suffering from drought, we are fortunate to have rain and cooler temperatures.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.

QueposLance M’s Southern Pacific Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for July:

  • We are finally in our new house located just outside the city of Quepos. Unpacking and trying to find where things should go is always an adventure but we are making progress. Quepos is located about 32 kilometers north of Matapalo, still on the the coast but we have moved inland about 3 kilometers. Our home is located on 40 acres just inside the Palm Groves. Our Landlord also lives on the property. The trees we see are imported African Palms that produce clusters of palm nuts which are harvested and then processed to retrieve the oil which is used in the making of cosmetics.
  • Quepos is connected to Manual Antonio which is a tourist area with miles of beach front. Quepos is the largest town between Jaco to the north and Playa Norte to the south. Quepos also has a very well staffed hospital, and a Maxi Pali grocery store. If you are looking for American products there is even a mini-PriceSmart in town.
  • The “real feel” of the highest daily high in July (99.0° F) was 114.0° F!
  • The Quepos area of the Central Pacific receives approximately 140 inches of rain per year. 
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Click to enlarge.

Rain-2014-07

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Quepos – August 2014

Click to enlarge.

You’ll notice that we are now showing rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for August:

  • As you can see, the rain picked up in August (10.2″).
  • Remember, we live 3 miles outside San Ramón at 3000 ft. elevation, 500 ft. lower than the town of San Ramón.
  • The town of San Ramon tends to get less rain than we do.
  • It’s been an excellent rainy season month, with sunny mornings, clouding up late (11am-noon), and rain in the afternoon (the way it should be).
  • costa-rica-map_cropped4Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for August:

  • My main observation for August is that the rainfall on August 23 was a record (3.8 inches / 9.7 cm) since the time in May 2013 when I started to keep records. The day began with a partly cloudy morning. It clouded up in the afternoon and then dumped about 3 of the 3.8 inches within the span of 1 hour. A true deluge. The remainder dribbled down over the next 2 hours or so. Then the sun broke through before sunset arrived. The temperature on this same day ranged between 69°F and 86°F without any uncomfortable level of humidity. Despite the deluge, the day was a nice day. The deluge was tropically novel, rare in Atenas, but made the day interesting.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas.

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for August:

  • We hosted a group of veterinarians from Florida who visit Costa Rica twice a year to participate in our local spaying and neutering program, along with several of our local vets. They “fixed” a total of about sixty animals over a two-day period. They spent one of their leisure days on a local tour-guided sailboat, cruising the length of Lake Arenal and getting to view the Arenal Volcano up close.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.

QueposLance M’s Southern Pacific Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for August:

  • We got all moved and are still unpacking trying to figure out where to put every thing since this house is about half the size of the one on the beach. It is a great place since we are in the middle of forty acres with a large pond and a shooting range, along with lots of trails through the pastures to beautiful streams and a river.
  • We get visited every once in a while by a burro named Houdini since he is an escape artist. Our house is behind a palm grove and he is one of the burros that pulls the wagons for the palm nuts. He comes over to the pastures here and runs with the horses that our landlord boards.
  • The Quepos area of the Central Pacific receives approximately 140 inches of rain per year.
Temps_2014-08

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Rain-2014-08

 

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Quepos – September 2014

Costa Rica Rainfall Map

The rainy season continues with heavy rainfall in parts of Costa Rica, while drought conditions continue in the northwest. In fact, it’s the worst drought that Guanacaste has experienced in more than 50 years. You can read more about it in a recent Tico Times article, “Costa Rica declares national emergency over drought in northwestern province of Guanacaste.”

You’ll notice that we show rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for September:

  • We had an amazing rainfall total for September: 48.1 inches! This was the wettest September we’ve had in 6 rainy seasons in Costa Rica. In the town of San Ramon, three miles away, they had much, much less. To get an idea of what this kind of rainfall looks like, watch this quick video we took while living at the cabinas.
  • Micro-climates abound. There are 11 distinct micro-climates in Costa Rica but rainfall totals can even change from ridge to ridge and valley to valley in Costa Rica.costa-rica-map_cropped4
  • We were in Las Vegas October 1st through 5th to exhibit at the International Living’s Fast Track Your Retirement Overseas Conference. On October 8th, we head out for three weeks in Nicaragua, so we will miss most of October in Costa Rica. October is traditionally the rainiest month in our part of the country. Thanks to our house sitters, Jim & Diana, for making this possible and for tracking rainfall and temperatures during our absence.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for September:

  • In Atenas, September this year was certainly wetter than September last year – 18.3 inches of rain and only 2 days without rain this year – compared with 13.8 inches of rain and 11 days without rain last year.
  • Consistent with increased cloudiness, overnight lows tended to be a bit warmer and daytime highs tended to be a bit cooler.
  • Despite the rain almost every day, there was only one day when the sun didn’t shine at least part of the time.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas.

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for September:

  • September and October are vacation months for tourism businesses, with fewer tourists and slower traffic.
  • Often, even during the rainy season, we have glorious, sunny days here on Lake Arenal. Rains are more predictable in the afternoons and evenings.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.

QueposLance M’s Central Pacific Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for September:

  • It has been a interesting month with the weather teasing us with a cool day then sending us back into the furnace the next day.
  • Our landlord has the government permits to teach a gun safety course and employs a couple of instructors to teach it. There is a firing range on the property so after you take the course and pass the written test you must go to the range and fire a weapon. This is where the police, coast guard, and just recently the swat team do all their qualifying. It does get quit noisy at times but our landlord gives us plenty of notice so we can go into Quepos to get away from the noise.
  • Since we live along the palm grove, we at times have oxen visit us to munch on the grass. The gentleman that takes care of them will show up on his mule with his dogs to herd them back down to where they belong. They also have a mule named Houdini that has figured out how to lay on his side and shimmy under the fence to get out and come up and get in with the horses and try to hide among them. There is always something going on when you live on 40 acres.
  • We are planning a border run later in October to do some shopping. The prices at the border are much cheaper than where we live.
  • The Quepos area of the Central Pacific receives approximately 140 inches of rain per year.
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Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

 

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, & Quepos – October 2014

Costa Rica Rainfall Map

The rainy season continued with more heavy rainfall in parts of Costa Rica. We missed most of October’s rain as we were only at home for 2 days the entire month of October, spending most of the month in Nicaragua. Our visiting meteorologist (house-sitters) did an excellent job of maintaining the weather data – thanks Jim & Diana!

You’ll notice that we show rainfall and temperatures for four towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can still click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for October:

  • We live in a very rainy spot in Magallanes de San Ramón de Alajuela. On October 20th, we had 10.6 inches of rain at our house, the largest one-day total since we’ve been tracking the rainfall these last six years. Most of it fell within a period of less than four hours. There were also 7 days with over 2 inches of rain!
  • The town of San Ramon most likely gets less rain than we do in our area.

  • Our total rainfall for the year, as of September 1st , was only 28 inches! You can see that most of the rain fell during September and October.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for October

  • October 2014 was slightly warmer and wetter than the same period last year. The nighttime average low temperature was 0.3 °F higher than in 2013. The daytime high average temperature was 2.2 °F higher. Total rainfall in October 2014 was about 2.2 inches greater than in 2013.
  • The hottest daytime high was 84.7 °F. Combined with a humidity reading of 64%, the corresponding heat index or “feels like” temperature was 90.0 °F.
  • The coldest daytime high was 74.8 °F but, the “feels like” temperature was less than that — only 73.3 °F. This is because the humidity remained unusually high (over 90%) throughout the day and imparted a chill to the air. High humidities are typical overnight but there is normally a substantial drop during the day.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas.

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for October:

  • Birds return every year from up north.  They are early this year. An early winter must be on the way!
  • Also, strangely, our Poinsettas are blooming now.  They usually bloom at Christmas.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.

Lance M’s Central Pacific Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for October:

Quepos

  • Well it is hard to believe that it is November already. It just seems like we celebrated the beginning of 2014 and now we are beginning to close the year. The one thing that there is going for us, is the fact that we won’t have to live thru BLACK FRIDAY. Sorry to all you folks that still live in the U.S and have to work in that madness.
  • My wife and I have started volunteering at Pets of Aguirre Welfare Shelter (PAWS). We have a spot at the Feria on Saturday mornings. It is a great organization to be associated with. There is another great organization here called Kids Saving The Rain Forests (KSTR). There mission is to preserve the rain forest in Costa Rica but they also take in hurt or orphaned animals and take care of them until they are ready to be released back into the wild. Both can be found on Facebook.
  • We made a trip to Pasa Canoa to do some shopping since we both had birthdays and our anniversary was in October. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and be safe in your travels.
  • The Quepos area of the Central Pacific receives approximately 140 inches of rain per year.

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Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, Quepos, & Near San Isidro de General – November 2014

Costa Rica Rainfall Map

Click to enlarge

We teased you in our last newsletter by announcing that we’ve added another town and weatherman but wouldn’t tell you where and who. Well, no more secrets!

We are happy to announce that our newest weatherman is our friend, Gordon Stanley who, along with his lovely wife, Bea,  just moved to Quebradas — a 15 minute drive north of San Isidro de General, at an elevation of about 3600 feet. You can read his full bio below, but one thing it doesn’t say is that Gordon is one of the funniest guys we know. He tracked the weather back home in Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada, but there it was “the correlation of the winter hoer frost and the spring/summer rains” — and somewhat cooler temperatures too! Welcome to the Retire for Less team of weathermen, Gordon!

You’ll notice that we show rainfall and temperatures for five towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for November:

  • November is a big transition month weather-wise. November is cooler, the sun is heading south 21.5 degrees to the Tropic of Capricorn, before heading north again on December 22nd. In fact, Gloria’s birthday is December 21st, the shortest day/longest night of the year.
  • We got less than 1.8 inches of rain in November but it seemed like more because it was cloudy a lot. We can already feel the decrease in humidity.
  • Most of our rain came in September and October – that’s 87.5 inches in just two months!
  • Have no fear, it is Costa Rica and still in the 90s at the beach as you can see from Lance Miller’s report below.
  • Unlike Nicaragua, San Ramón and Costa Rica are not colonial at all. You can read why in our article, “Were Costa Ricans Always Pura Vida? — Where History Meets the Movies”
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 110.95 inches in our area of San Ramón. 2014 rainfall-to-date is 119.22 inches.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for November:

  • The weather in November has definitely signaled the onset of the dry season in Atenas. Total rainfall during the month was significantly less than October.
  • Towards the end of the month, daytime high temperatures were accompanied by breezy conditions and progressively decreasing humidity – all of which is symptomatic of the dry season.
  • In the next two or three months, we (Diana and I) expect that some of the lush greenery will begin to turn brown. But, with the assurance that everything will turn green once again, we like this a lot more than months of barren, white vistas and rain, snow and ice storms which are symptomatic of winters in many parts of Canada and the USA.
  • Meanwhile, our orange tree which produces oranges year round will somehow maintain its defence to the dry season. It will keep its green leaves and continue to produce oranges throughout the dry season.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas. 2014 rainfall-to-date is 73.52 inches.

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for November:

  • For the first time, two pairs of Orange-Billed Sparrows appeared at our bird feeders.
  • All of the birds are returning en masse and they will be with us through next March.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal. 2014 rainfall-to-date is 164.70 inches.

Lance M’s Central Pacific Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for November:

  • November is a special month for people from the US as it is a time to give thanks for all that we have. We were invited to a Thanksgiving dinner held at a restaurant that is managed by an American couple. There were expats from around the world there to help us celebrate a traditional feast. Everyone had a great time and, as always, left stuffed like the turkey was.
  • Our weather has started to change as we are only getting some rainy days off and on.
  • We have a box garden at the north side of the house and the vegetables we planted have really began to grow since the weather has changed. I have also planted some papaya trees which are beginning to grow.
  • To add a little challenge to everyone’s driving in Quepos, they changed some of the streets from two way to one way over night with no notice. There is always surprises waiting around the corner no matter where one lives.
  • To everyone have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!Map_Quepos_SanIsidro
  • The Quepos area of the Central Pacific can receive up to 140 inches of rain per year.  2014 rainfall-to-date is 71.16 inches (as of February 2014).

Gordon’s Quebradas (San Isidro de General) Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for November:

  • At 3600 foot altitude we get lots of rain. Although much less than last month, we still got 19.5″ in November.
  • The good news is that we had 12 days with no rain, compared to rain every day in October.
  • And the even better news is that what ever we get beats the heck out of what Alberta, Canada is getting right now!
  • And to top it all off, we bought a vehicle last week, so we have a new-found freedom on top of our retirement freedom. Pura Vida!

Click to enlarge

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Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, Quepos, & Near San Isidro de General – December 2014

Costa Rica Rainfall Map

You’ll notice that we show rainfall and temperatures for five towns in Costa Rica. This isn’t weather forecasting. We report after the fact to give you a much better picture of the weather in each of these areas.

You can click on the map to the right to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns you are interested in. Remember that the areas shaded in darker blue tend to be higher and also the places most expats choose to live.

Paul’s San Ramón Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for December:

  • December was the coolest month of the year, with an average low of 62.5° F and with 6 mornings registering 60° F.
  • We live in a beautiful place in Costs Rica but our valley, Magallanes de San Ramón, gets a lot of rain. Total rainfall for the year was 120 inches, with 48 inches in September and 40 inches in October.
  • We live less than 4 miles from San Ramón and their rain total was probably closer to 80 inches.
  • Microclimates abound!
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 111 inches and 2014 total was 120 inches.

Lance T’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for December:

  • The dry season is upon us. Rainfall has been trivial. During December, overnight temperatures have been dropping, but nothing like that for the folks up north. It can be chilly in the mornings and I am sometimes driven to put on a sweater – but not to adjust a thermostat, or to turn on a room heater, or to feed a fireplace (none of which we have, want, or need in Atenas).
  • The overall weather in Atenas for 2014 was unremarkable and can be summed up as follows:
    • Rainfall: Total rainfall during 2014 was about 74 inches. Some parts of Costa Rica got less. Other parts got much more. Some of the rain came in mid-day deluges.
    • Temperatures:
      • Average daytime high: 83.9 °F
      • Hottest daytime high: 92.1 °F (March 30)
      • Average overnight low: 66.9 °F
      • Coldest overnight low: 61.0 °F (February 4)
  • The above temperatures are ambient air temperatures. But there is a difference between ambient air temperature and “feels like” temperature. Humidity is the main culprit which makes the difference. Throughout the year in Atenas, humidities ranged between a desert-like low of 11% and highs above 90%. The maximum heat index or “feels like” temperature was 94.1 °F. This occurred on a couple of days (April 29 and July 15) when the air temperature highs were 87.3 °F and 86.7 °F, respectively. The corresponding humidities were 61% and 64%. At no time did air temperatures and humidities in Atenas combine to produce anywhere near a 100° plus “feels like” temperature as often happens in the USA and Canada, especially during the summer months. A 100° plus “feels like” temperature might happen from time-to-time on the beaches in Costa Rica, but rarely if ever in Atenas.
  • Total rainfall in 2013 was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas. 2014 rainfall-to-date is 73.59 inches.

John’s Nuevo Arenal Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for December:

  • Happy New Year everyone from Chalet Nicholas and the Lake Arenal community!
  • We are looking forward to a busy 2015 tourist season. If you are planning to visit us, remember to ask for your “Retire for Less” discount.
  • We had a record-breaking 185 inches of rain  for the year 2014. Total rainfall in 2013 was 164.75 inches in our area of Nuevo Arenal.

Lance M’s Central Pacific Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for December:

  • December started off without much excitement at the Millers but the closer to Christmas we got things began to get hectic around our house. On the 13th we were working at the Paws booth when I got to feeling bad so my wife took me to the clinic we use and the doctor took my blood pressure and did a EKG then promptly put me in an ambulance and I got a ride to Quepos hospital ER. They did a series of test which took about 5 hours. released me and told me to have my doctor check me again Monday. Monday we went back to our doctor who did another EKG and told me she needed to make a phone call. When she returned she told use she had made an appointment at Cima hospital to see a Cardiologist at 8 am on that Wed the 17th. The EKG showed that I was in a soft afib. So off to Escazu on the 16th since from Quepos to Escazu is about 2.5 to 3 hour drive without any backups on the highway. We saw the doctor at 8 that morning she did another EKG and an Echo Cardiogram in her office then sent me over to the lab for blood work and told us to come back at 2 to see her. After the test results were in she looked at my medications and adjusted them because she wanted to raise my blood pressure a little because it was a little low and raise my heart rate to about 78 to 80 instead of 50 to 55. She made me an appointment for the 26th to put a halter monitor on for 24 hours to see how my heart was doing since the medicine adjustment. I must say my wife and I were very impressed with the Quepos hospital, not fancy but very efficient. We were also impressed with Cima and my Cardiologist.
  • In between all of this we had guests from Germany for Christmas eve dinner.
  • Map_Quepos_SanIsidro

  • I want to thank Paul and Gloria for the recommendation to Jason Holland from International Living to contact us for a possible interview. We will be meeting him on the 13th to talk about living on the southern coast.
  • 2014 rainfall for the Quepos area of the Central Pacific was 73.54 inches (as of February 2014 when I started measuring it for this newsletter).

Gordon’s Quebradas (San Isidro de General) Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for December:

  • The rainy season is certainly over! – 3-3/8″ of rain in 9 days compared to 19.5 inches last month in 18 days.
  • Interesting to note the average low and high were both 1 degree cooler in December than November!
  • Altitude makes a big difference! Although we are only 15 minutes up the hill from San Isidro de General, one day when it was 91 degrees in town it was only 79 degrees here – makes the drive worth it!
  • We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have friends from Cold Lake, Alberta visiting us, and are having a great time showing them around. Having a great time with all our fiends down here – even got in a beach day for our Alberta friends to enjoy!
  • Have fun everyone …….make the best of each and every day!

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PaulHubPhoto

Our San Ramón Weatherman, Paul Yeatman

Meteorology has been Paul’s lifelong hobby.  As a child, he devoured books about the weather and earth sciences vigorously. Later, he took a few college courses in meteorology, and still later, he served as a meteorologist for the U.S. Army in Vietnam.  Now, Paul gets to practice his avocation in Costa Rica, albeit on a very small scale with just temperature and rainfall data, probably the two most important factors regarding the weather. He wanted to include weather info on our website to help people decide where to live, although weather is just one of many factors to consider in determining where to relocate. Current weather data is from our current home at about 3,000 ft. elevation and 10 minutes outside the town of San Ramón. Weather data prior to December 2012 is from our previous home at about 4,000 ft. elevation and 10 minutes outside the town of San Ramón.

Our Atenas Weatherman, Lance Turlock

Lance and his wife, Diana, moved to Costa Rica about 2 years ago after living 30+ years in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (Vancouver and environs). They live in the Central Valley near the town of Atenas and are at an elevation of about 2700 feet. They have no need for air conditioning or heating. Overnight low temperatures are comfortably cool (low 60’s). Daytime highs can be relatively hot (high 80’s, low 90’s), but rarely uncomfortably hot.Lance started to keep track of daily temperatures and rainfall in order to have factual ammunition to help disabuse friends, relatives and acquaintances of any misconception that the weather must be like that of a tropical jungle.

Our Nuevo Arenal Weatherman, John Nicholas

After many visits to Costa Rica, John and Cathy Nicholas moved from New York to Costa Rica in 1991.  They chose Arenal for its sacred, majestic beauty, its lush wildlife, its relaxing lifestyle, and its proximity to activities and sites such as the Volcano Arenal and the beaches. They own the B&B, Chalet Nicholas, which has been in operation since 1992. Temperatures and rainfall are measured at Chalet Nicholas which is located at approximately 2,200 ft. elevation and 1 mile west of the town of Nuevo Arenal.

Our Playa Mantapalo Weatherman, Lance Miller

LanceM2I was born in a very small town in northwest Iowa and raised on a farm. When I was 18, I joined the service, in which I spent 22 years before retiring in 1990. For the next twenty three years my family and I lived in south central Pennsylvania. After having a stroke in 2012, I was unable to work and that is when my wife and I began talking about retiring. Thanks to your newsletter and a website we found about San Isidro, we began looking at Costa Rica. We came down in March 2013 and looked around for a week. Went home, packed up, and moved here in April. We settled in a small village called Playa Matapalo which is located between Quepos and Dominical. We later moved to Quepos. The word Playa means beach. It is so nice to lie in bed and listen to the ocean. Pura Vida. We will continue the weather info next month.

Gordon_photo_croppedOur Quebradas (15 minutes north of San Isidro de General) Weatherman, Gordon Stanley

Gordon and his wife Bea moved here from Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada, where he used to track the correlation of the winter hoer frost and the spring/summer rains. After 30+ years as a Purchasing Agent for a retail lumber yard/Homes Manufacturing company, he decided to say “Adios” to the snow and ice. They arrived in Costa Rica Oct. 3, 2014, and live in Quebradas, which is a 15 minute drive North of San Isidro de General, at an elevation of about 3600 feet. There is a stream that runs behind the hill in their back yard, so are “forced” to listen to the sound of running water 24/7. Ahh the tough life! They are totally enjoying their new found retirement freedom in this wonderful land that they discovered thanks to this newsletter.

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