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Feb 10 2013

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Our Weather in San Ramón, Atenas, & Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica–2013

Paul’s Monthly Weather Report – January 2013

Micro-climates in Costa Rica are due to altitude and topography. The micro-climate you choose depends on what you like or what you get used to. This became especially apparent to us two months ago when we moved 1,000 feet lower and about 1 mile away.  January was our first full month of living at our new rental house in Magallanes de San Ramon.

It’s been extremely windy, with gusts as high as 50 mph since October 25th. And since October 25th, we’ve had less than 2 inches of rain. The weather has been characterized by cool fronts and instability, and pressure differences between two large bodies of water, the Pacific and the Caribbean. The isthmus (Costa Rican land bridge) represents the narrowest place between the two seas in the western hemisphere. Four things cause wind: centrifugal force, the Coriolis effect, friction, and pressure gradient force. Pressure gradient force is basically the difference between the highs and the lows. The air flows from the high to the low to fill the vacuum. The greater the difference between the two, the higher the winds. Costa Rica is a pretty breezy country for all of the above reasons, but especially beginning in November, when the “Christmas Winds” start, and then continue through January. The winds let us know that the transition is beginning between the rainy season and the dry season.

We’re getting used to living lower, with it’s warmer daytime temps, and really starting to enjoy it. We have many friends who could not live down here…it’s just too warm for them (low 80s). Most Ramonenses couldn’t exist down here. They like it cool (less than 75°f). Here are some elevations in our immediate area:

  • The cabinas where we lived are at 3,950 ft.
  • The city of San Ramon is at 3,445 ft.
  • We currently live at 3,000 ft. elevation in (lower) Magallanes. This is the only place close to San Ramon at that elevation.

As usual, we took the temperature at 6am, mid-day, and 6pm daily, as well as rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours, measured at 6am. All temperature readings are taken in the shade (just like official meteorologists do). If taken in the sunshine, the temps are usually 8-10 degrees higher. You also have to take into account the altitude — the higher the elevation, the cooler the temps. It gets warmer by about 4-5 degrees per 1000 feet as you descend in elevation.

Following is our rain and temperature date for the month of January 2013:

Rain Data from January 1st to January 31th (31 days)

  • 0 inches of total rainfall
  • 1 day measured trace amounts of rain
  • 30 days with zero rainfall

Temperature data from January 1st to January 31th (31 days)

  • 6am average: 62.75°f (lowest reading was 60°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 82.6.°f (high of 86°f on 1 day & the lowest high of 78°f on 2 days)
  • 6pm average: 69.0°f (lowest reading was 67°f on 2 days and highest was 74°f  on 1 day)

We’ll continue the weather info next month.

Paul’s (& Lance’s) Monthly Weather Report–February 2013

It’s been comfortable at dinner time, about 72.5°f average, but the winds can make it feel cooler and they can also blow our candles out. We still live just 10 minutes and 4 miles from San Ramon central, which can be quite warm.   The “Christmas winds,” which started on October 25th, are slowing as the transition to the dry season is complete. We’ve had less than 2 inches of rain since October 25th. And let’s not forget that there are completely different rain patterns on the Caribbean side of the country, where it falls throughout the year so there is no extended dry season.

As usual, we took the temperature at 6am, mid-day, and 6pm daily, as well as rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours, measured at 6am. All temperature readings are taken in the shade (just likeofficial meteorologists do). If taken in the sunshine, the temps are usually 8-10 degrees higher. You also have to take into account the altitude — the higher the elevation, the cooler the temps. It gets warmer by about 4-5 degrees per 1000 feet as you descend in elevation.

Following is our rain and temperature data, at our home in San Ramón at 3,000 ft. elevation, for the month of February 2013:

Rain Data from February 1st to February 28th (28 days)

  • 0 inches of total rainfall
  • 2 days measured trace amounts of rain
  • 26 days with zero rainfall

Temperature data from February 1st to February 28th (28 days)

  • 6am average: 63.2°f (lowest reading was 60°f on 3 days)
  • Mid-day average: 81.25.°f (high of 86°f on 1 day & the lowest high of 78°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 72.5°f (lowest reading was 67°f on 3 days and highest was 74°f  on 1 day)

To give you an idea of the difference that elevation has on temperatures, here is the breakdown of temperature data from February last year when we were living at 3,950 feet elevation, about 1,000 feet higher than we’re living now:

  • 6am average: 59.2°f (lowest reading was 57°f on 2 days)
  • Mid-day average: 76.6°f (high of 83°f & low of 73°f on 2 days)
  • 6pm average: 64.3°f (lowest reading was 62°f and highest was 66°f )

Atenas Temperature data from February 1st to February 28th (28 days) **NEW**

Our friend, Lance , recorded day-to-day overnight low temperatures and daytime high temperatures at their home in Vista Atenas at an elevation of about 2700 feet. The temperatures may differ from the town of Atenas itself where the elevation is lower, or other nearby places where the elevation is even lower or higher. As is characteristic of Costa Rica in general, the Atenas region has many microclimates. A few hundred feet can make a significant difference.

  • Overnight lows (about 6am) Average: 64.7°f (lowest reading was 59.7°f on 1 day & highest reading was 68.7°f)
  • Daytime highs (about noon) Average: 88.1°f (high of 93.3°f on 1 day & low of 82.9°f on 1 day)
  • Daytime humidity average 35% (range 20%-50%
  • Nighttime humidity average 77% (range 60%-100%)

We’ll continue the weather info next month.

Paul’s & Lance’s Monthly Weather Report for San Ramon & Atenas – March 2013

The rain that we had occured in the evening or early morning, between 6pm and 6am so we didn’t really notice it. The first week of March we had a cold wave. On March 3rd, 4th, and 5th, we had highs of 68°f, 62°f, & 69°f consecutively at our location in San Ramon. Generally, when it’s cold in southern Florida, it’s cold in Costa Rica. As far as the wind is concerned, the windy months — normally December and January — never ended this year. We’ve had continuously windy weather throughout the dry season.

As usual, we took the temperature at 6am, mid-day, and 6pm daily, as well as rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours, measured at 6am. All temperature readings are taken in the shade (just like official meteorologists do). If taken in the sunshine, the temps are usually 8-10 degrees higher. You also have to take into account the altitude — the higher the elevation, the cooler the temps. It gets warmer by about 4-5 degrees per 1000 feet as you descend in elevation.

Following is our rain and temperature data, at our home in San Ramón at 3,000 ft. elevation, for the month of March 2013:

Rain Data from March 1st to March 31st (31 days)

  • .15 inches of total rainfall over three days (that’s less than 2/10 of an inch total and is the first measurable rain we’ve had since January 1st)
  • 7 days measured trace amounts of rain
  • 21 days with zero rainfall

Temperature data from March 1st to March 31st (31 days)

  • 6am average: 63.5°f (lowest reading was 58°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 77.0°f (high of 82°f on 2 days & the lowest high of 62°f on 1 day – brrrrr)
  • 6pm average: 68.6°f (lowest reading was 62°f on 2 days and highest was 72°f  on 6 days)

To give you an idea of the difference that elevation has on temperatures, here is the breakdown of temperature data from March 2012 when we were living at 3,950 feet elevation, about 1,000 feet higher than we’re living now:

  • 6am average: 60°f (lowest reading was 56°f on 1 day, highest reading was 64°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 78.3°f (high of 80°f on 7 days & low of 74°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 64.8°f (lowest reading was 63°f on 5 days and highest was 67°f  on 2 days)

Atenas Temperature data from March 1st to March 31st (31 days)

Our friend, Lance Turlock , recorded day-to-day overnight low temperatures and daytime high temperatures at their home in Vista Atenas at an elevation of about 2700 feet. The temperatures may differ from the town of Atenas itself where the elevation is lower, or other nearby places where the elevation is even lower or higher. As is characteristic of Costa Rica in general, the Atenas region has many microclimates. A few hundred feet can make a significant difference.

  • Overnight lows (about 6am) Average: 67.3°f (lowest reading was 62.2°f on 1 day & highest reading was 71.2°f)
  • Daytime highs (about noon) Average: 89.4°f (high of 94.1°f on 1 day & low of 84.5°f on 1 day – there were 12 days over 90°f)
  • Daytime humidity average 38.4% (range 23%-53%)
  • Nighttime humidity average 80.6% (range 61%-100%)

So, who is Lance Turlock??

My wife, Diana, and I came to Costa Rica about 2 years ago after living 30+ years in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (Vancouver and environs). Here, we live in the Central Valley near the town of Atenas. We are at an elevation of about 2700 feet. We 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. Away from the coasts, the heat tends to be a relatively “dry” heat and unlike the hot, humid, lazy days of summer which can occur in eastern Canada and the U.S.

I started to keep track of daily temperatures and humidities 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.”

Lance

We’ll continue the weather info next month


Paul’s & Lance’s Monthly Weather Report for San Ramon & Atenas – April 2013

The winds abated in early April, finally. But without the winds, the bugs have appeared. Our house is well-screened but they still get in. I realize now that the winds drive the bugs away. Most notable are the June bugs, called May bugs here because that’s when they usually appear.

April is the warmest month of the year as the sun is passing directly overhead, the wind has stopped, humidity is rising, getting ready for the rains that will follow shortly. Usually, we get 2 inches of rain in April; though interestingly, last year we got about 10 inches, all within one week. As we’re writing this over the first few days of May, the rainy season actually started like clockwork on May 1st, with 1.25″ of rain. As a matter of record, May should get about 8 inches of rain. We’ll see. The upcoming months of May-July are our favorite months in Costa Rica. Everything will start to green up, but the heaviest rains won’t start until September or October.

As usual, we took the temperature at 6am, mid-day, and 6pm daily, as well as rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours, measured at 6am. All temperature readings are taken in the shade (just like official meteorologists do). If taken in the sunshine, the temps are usually 8-10 degrees higher. You also have to take into account the altitude — the higher the elevation, the cooler the temps. It gets warmer by about 4-5 degrees per 1000 feet as you descend in elevation.

Following is our rain and temperature data, at our home in San Ramón at 3,000 ft. elevation, for the month of April 2013:

Rain Data from April 1st to April 30th (30 days)

  • .15 inches of total rainfall over two days
  • 3 days measured trace amounts of rain
  • 26 days with zero rainfall

Here’s the rainfall trend since the first of the year 2013:

  • January – 0 inches
  • February – .05 inches
  • March – .15 inches
  • April – .15 inches

Total rainfall year-to-date: .35 inches

Temperature data from April 1st to April 30th (30 days)

  • 6am average: 65.2°f (lowest reading was 61°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 80.3°f (high of 85°f on 1 day & the lowest high of 77°f on 3 days)
  • 6pm average: 70.9°f (lowest reading was 68°f on 1 day and highest was 74°f  on 4 days)

To give you an idea of the difference that elevation has on temperatures, here is the breakdown of temperature data from April 2012 when we were living at 3,950 feet elevation, about 1,000 feet higher than we’re living now:

  • 6am average: 62.5°f (lowest reading was 58°f on 1 day, highest reading was 65°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 76.1°f (high of 81°f on 2 days & low of 70°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 65.7°f (lowest reading was 62°f on 1 day and highest was 68°f  on 1 day)

Atenas Temperature data from April 1st to April 30th (30 days)

Our friend, Lance Turlock , recorded day-to-day overnight low temperatures and daytime high temperatures at their home in Vista Atenas at an elevation of about 2700 feet. The temperatures may differ from the town of Atenas itself where the elevation is lower, or other nearby places where the elevation is even lower or higher. As is characteristic of Costa Rica in general, the Atenas region has many microclimates. A few hundred feet can make a significant difference. For instance, on most if not all websites, it seems that the weather information for Atenas will be the same as for Juan Santamaria Airport. This is inaccurate because of Costa Rica’s microclimates and the fact that Juan Santamaria is at a different elevation than Atenas.

  • Overnight lows (about 6am) Average: 68.4°f (lowest reading was 63.1°f  & highest reading was 71.2°f)
  • Daytime highs (about noon) Average: 88.8°f (highest reading was 93.2°f  & lowest reading was 83.3°f)

Some additional observations from Lance:

  1. The average daytime highs seem to have been unusually high for the month of April (but not uncomfortably high if you simply lay back and enjoy the ambiance).
  2. Though I still do not have a rain gauge, I noted that there were 4 days in April when there was at best a trace of rain for a few minutes, and another 4 days where there was light to moderate to heavy rain — but not for more than an hour at most.

We’ll continue the weather info next month.

 

Paul’s & Lance’s Monthly Weather Report for San Ramon & Atenas – May 2013

We had 14.85 inches of rain in May, probably 20% of our yearly total and five more months to go. The sad fact is that total rainfall was 20% down last year, so we can use a good 80 inches in San Ramon by November 1st to replenish our reservoirs and aquifers.

Remember, just 15 days get 70% of the rainfall. One such day was May 25th, with 3.7 inches. On top of the mountain, at the cabinas, where we used to live, no more than a mile from our present location, they tell me they had two consecutive days of six and five inches respectively, and no flooding. Amazing!

The rains really didn’t get going until May 20th, the day we left for Mexico. May 20th through the 31st, we got 11.7 inches of the monthly total…and we missed it all. (Thanks to Jamie Rae — our “guest meteorologist” — for measuring the weather data in my absence.) Normally May receives 8-9 inches total, so we were more than 50% above our monthly average.

Mexico’s rainy season has similar dates (May to November), with less than half the rainfall of Costa Rica. Much of Mexico, including the areas we were in — Oaxaca, Puebla, and Mexico City,  — are semi-arid. These towns are at 5,000 ft., 7050 ft., and 7500 ft. elevation respectively.

As usual, we took the temperature at 6am, mid-day, and 6pm daily, as well as rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours, measured at 6am. All temperature readings are taken in the shade (just like official meteorologists do). If taken in the sunshine, the temps are usually 8-10 degrees higher. You also have to take into account the altitude — the higher the elevation, the cooler the temps. It gets warmer by about 4-5 degrees per 1000 feet as you descend in elevation.

Following is our rain and temperature data, at our home in San Ramón at 3,000 ft. elevation, for the month of May 2013:

Rain Data from May 1st to May 31st (31 days)

  • 14.85 inches of total rainfall over 16 days
  • 1 day measured 3.7 inches of rain and another day measured 2.1 inches
  • 2 days measured trace amounts of rain
  • 13 days with zero rainfall

Here’s the rainfall trend since the first of the year 2013:

  • January – 0 inches
  • February – .05 inches
  • March – .15 inches
  • April – .15 inches
  • May – 14.85 inches

Total rainfall year-to-date: 15.20 inches

Temperature data from May 1st to May 31st (31 days)

  • 6am average: 65.45°f (lowest reading was 61°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 77.3°f (high of 83°f on 2 days & the lowest high of 72°f on 2 days)
  • 6pm average: 69.4°f (lowest reading was 66°f on 1 day and highest was 73°f  on 1 day)

To give you an idea of the difference that elevation has on temperatures, here is the breakdown of temperature data from May 2012 when we were living at 3,950 feet elevation, about 1,000 feet higher than we’re living now:

  • 6am average: 63.85°f (lowest reading was 62°f on 4 days)
  • Mid-day average: 74.7°f (high of 77°f on 7 days & low of 71°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 66.5°f (lowest reading was 63°f on 1 day and highest was 69°f  on 1 day)

Atenas Temperature data from May 1st to May 31st (31 days)

Our friend, Lance Turlock , recorded day-to-day overnight low temperatures and daytime high temperatures at their home in Vista Atenas at an elevation of about 2700 feet. The temperatures may differ from the town of Atenas itself where the elevation is lower, or other nearby places where the elevation is even lower or higher. A few hundred feet can make a significant difference.

  • Overnight lows (about 6am) Average: 68.3°f (lowest reading was 62.4°f  & highest reading was 70.9°f)
  • Daytime highs (about noon) Average: 87.2°f (highest reading was 90.7°f  & lowest reading was 79.9°f)

Some observations from Lance:

  1. Note: On most if not all websites, it seems that the weather information for Atenas will be same as for Juan Santamaria Airport. This is inaccurate because Costa Rica has microclimates and Juan Santamaria is at a different elevation.
  2. I now have a rain gauge – but May recordings cover only the last part of the month. Total rainfall from May 23 to May 31 was just under 4″.

We’ll continue the weather info next month.

 

Paul’s & Lance’s Monthly Weather Report for San Ramon & Atenas – June 2013

Usually you can tell when it’s cloudy because when it’s cloudy, it’s cooler. The days when it’s 70-75°f, you can best believe it was cloudy. With 13 days of trace or no rain, it give you an idea of volume on the days it did rain. The days when we got 2.5 inches or more of rain might be some of those 15 days I’m always talking about.  If you extrapolate the 15 inches a month we got in May and June over 6 months it would come to almost 90 inches which is typical for this part of the country. We thought we would get less here but it’s not turning out that way so far.

Generally speaking, living here at 3,000 ft. elevation, the days range between 60°f on the low side and 80°f on the high side all year long. It’s similar to the weather at the cabinas where we used to live (at 4,000 ft. elevation), just a bit warmer.

As usual, we took the temperature at 6am, mid-day, and 6pm daily, as well as rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours, measured at 6am. All temperature readings are taken in the shade (just like official meteorologists do). If taken in the sunshine, the temps are usually 8-10 degrees higher. You also have to take into account the altitude — the higher the elevation, the cooler the temps. It gets warmer by about 4-5 degrees per 1000 feet as you descend in elevation.

Following is our rain and temperature data, at our home in San Ramón at 3,000 ft. elevation, for the month of June 2013:

Rain Data from June 1st to June 30th (30 days)

  • 14.9 inches of total rainfall on 17 days
  • 1 day measured 2.7 inches of rain and two days measured 2.5 inches
  • 4 days measured trace amounts of rain
  • 9 days with zero rainfall

Here’s the rainfall trend since the first of the year 2013:

  • January – 0 inches
  • February – .05 inches
  • March – .15 inches
  • April – .15 inches
  • May – 14.85 inches
  • June – 14.9 inches

Total rainfall year-to-date: 30.10 inches

Temperature data from June 1st to June 30th (30 days)

  • 6am average: 65.5°f (lowest reading was 61°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 75.9°f (high of 80°f on 1 day & the lowest high of 73°f on 3 days)
  • 6pm average: 68.5°f (lowest reading was 64°f on 1 day and highest was 71°f  on 3 days)

To give you an idea of the difference that elevation has on temperatures, here is the breakdown of temperature data from June 2012 when we were living at 3,950 feet elevation, about 1,000 feet higher than we’re living now:

  • 6am average: 63.4°f (lowest reading was 61°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 73.7°f (high of 78°f on 1 day & low of 67°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 66°f (lowest reading was 63°f on 1 day and highest was 70°f  on 1 day)

Atenas Temperature data from June 1st to June 30th (30 days)

Our friend, Lance Turlock , recorded day-to-day overnight low temperatures and daytime high temperatures at their home in Vista Atenas at an elevation of about 2700 feet. The temperatures may differ from the town of Atenas itself where the elevation is lower, or other nearby places where the elevation is even lower or higher. A few hundred feet can make a significant difference.

  • Overnight lows (about 6am) Average: 68.5°f (lowest reading was 65.3°f  & highest reading was 70.7°f)
  • Daytime highs (about noon) Average: 84.2°f (highest reading was 89.4°f  & lowest reading was 78.1°f)

Atenas Rain Data from June 1st to June 30th (30 days)

  • 8.04 inches of total rainfall over 16 days
  • 1 day measured 2.8+ inches of rain and 2 days measured over 1 inch
  • 14 days with zero rainfall

We’ll continue the weather info next month.

 

Paul’s & Lance’s Monthly Weather Report for San Ramon & Atenas – July 2013

July marks the veranillo de San Juan (little summer) in Costa Rica when it often rains less, schools close for two weeks, and many people take vacations. The veranillo can last as little as one day or last all month and beyond. Sometimes it’s associated with el niño or la niña, although NEITHER has played a part in our weather this year. In comparing the weather between San Ramón and Atenas, at least between our specific areas of Atenas (2760 feet elevation, about 500 ft. above the town of Atenas) and San Ramón (3,000 ft. elevation, about 450 ft. lower than the town of San Ramón), you have to remember that micro-climates are major weather  and comfort factors in Costa Rica. Altitude and topography play the major parts in this phenomenon. 500 ft. can make a significant difference in your comfort level regarding temperature, rainfall and wind. Nonetheless, the weather will be predictable within each micro-climate. Where we live, we get some rain from the northeast but also some from the Central Pacific. We only had three days where the temperature hit 80 degrees or higher. It’s remarkably steady. If I had to pick any one thing about the weather, it’s the temperature. Never too hot, never cold, always between 60°f and 80°f, almost every day on our mountainside at 3,000 ft. just outside San Ramón.

As usual, we took the temperature at 6am, mid-day, and 6pm daily, as well as rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours, measured at 6am. All temperature readings are taken in the shade (just like official meteorologists do). If taken in the sunshine, the temps are usually 8-10 degrees higher. You also have to take into account the altitude — the higher the elevation, the cooler the temps. It gets warmer by about 4-5 degrees per 1000 feet as you descend in elevation.

Following is our rain and temperature data, at our home in San Ramón at 3,000 ft. elevation, for the month of June 2013:

Rain Data from July 1st to July 31st (31 days)

  • 8.0 inches of total rainfall on 17 days
  • 1 day measured 1.25 inches of rain and one day measured 1.0 inches
  • 5 days measured trace amounts of rain
  • 9 days with zero rainfall

Here’s the rainfall trend since the first of the year 2013:

  • January – 0 inches
  • February – .05 inches
  • March – .15 inches
  • April – .15 inches
  • May – 14.85 inches
  • June – 14.9 inches
  • July – 8 inches

Total rainfall year-to-date: 38.10 inches

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.

Temperature data from July 1st to July 31st (31 days)

  • 6am average: 64.9°f (lowest reading was 61°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 75.6°f (high of 81°f on 1 day & the lowest high of 71°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 68.0°f (lowest reading was 66°f on 2 days and highest was 70°f  on 1 day)

To give you an idea of the difference that elevation has on temperatures, here is the breakdown of temperature data from July 2012 when we were living at 3,950 feet elevation, about 1,000 feet higher than we’re living now:

  • 6am average: 62.9°f (lowest reading was 61°f on 4 days)
  • Mid-day average: 73.4°f (high of 78°f on 2 days & the lowest high of 65°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 65.9°f (lowest reading was 64°f on 4 days and highest was 68°f  on 2 days)

Atenas

Our friend, Lance Turlock , recorded day-to-day overnight low temperatures and daytime high temperatures at their home in Vista Atenas at an elevation of 2760 feet:

“You might observe that since June our elevation has risen from 2700 feet to 2760 feet. This is not due to a rise in the land mass. It is thanks to Google Earth which recently mapped the Atenas area with much higher resolution than before. You can now see and click on the roof of our house.

The rainfall report now indicates the number of days of measurable rain. It may be noteworthy that for the entire month of July Atenas had less rain than Philadelphia had on a single day (July 28). For the entire month, the rainfall in Atenas was less than half that in Philadelphia. For details, Google “record philadelphia july rainfall”.

It may also be noteworthy that during the entire month of July Atenas was not once inflicted with a stifling combination of heat and humidity like that which was imposed on the eastern U.S. and Canada for several days (including Philadelphia). But, caution, the weather in Atenas is a microclimate and it cannot be assumed that it represents the weather elsewhere in Costa Rica.”

Atenas Temperature data from July 1st to July 31st (31 days)

  • Overnight lows (about 6am) Average: 68.5°f (lowest reading was 66.0°f  & highest reading was 71.4°f)
  • Daytime highs (about noon) Average: 82.3°f (highest reading was 87.3°f  & lowest reading was 75.4°f)

 

Atenas Rain Data from July 1st to July 31st (31 days)

  • 6.4 inches of total rainfall over 16 days
  • 15 days with no measurable rainfall

We’ll continue the weather info next month.

 

Paul’s & Lance’s Monthly Weather Report for San Ramon & Atenas – August 2013

After the veranillo (“little summer”) in July, the rainy season really kicked in for August in a big way, with almost 20 inches here on our mountain in San Ramón. On two days we received 4 inches and 3.25 inches respectively , which accounts for over 1/3 of the total. Plus two other days had over two inches of rain. We’ve come to realize that the Magallanes valley where we live at 3,000 ft. elevation really gets it. It may be a little warmer here but it’s definitely cloudy, foggy and/or rainy most afternoons in the rainy season. It’s still beautiful though. Most mornings are sunny and clear with spectacular views to the coast. From our house, we look down to the Gulf of Nicoya and Puntarenas and can see all the lights of Puntarenas at night.

Good weather is one of the big factors that expats desire. We compare San Ramón and Atenas every month so you can see the differences. Atenas is the more popular town of the two and purportedly has one of the best climates in the world. It’s definitely warmer and sunnier and gets less rain. We chose San Ramón for it’s cooler climate (and many other reasons).

As usual, we took the temperature at 6am, mid-day, and 6pm daily, as well as rainfall totals for the previous 24 hours, measured at 6am. All temperature readings are taken in the shade (just like official meteorologists do). If taken in the sunshine, the temps are usually 8-10 degrees higher. You also have to take into account the altitude — the higher the elevation, the cooler the temps. It gets warmer by about 4-5 degrees per 1000 feet as you descend in elevation.

Following is our rain and temperature data, at our home in San Ramón at 3,000 ft. elevation, for the month of August 2013:

Rain Data from August 1st to August 31st (31 days)

  • 19.3 inches of total rainfall on 18 days
  • 1 day with 4 inches and 1 day with 3.25 inches
  • 13 days measured trace amounts of rain or zero rainfall

Here’s the rainfall trend since the first of the year 2013:

  • January – 0 inches
  • February – .05 inches
  • March – .15 inches
  • April – .15 inches
  • May – 14.85 inches
  • June – 14.9 inches
  • July – 8.0 inches
  • August – 19.3 inches

Total rainfall year-to-date: 57.4 inches

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.

Temperature data from August 1st to August 31st (31 days)

  • 6am average: 65.1°f (lowest reading was 62°f on 1 day)
  • Mid-day average: 74.0°f (high of 78°f on 3 days & the lowest high of 72°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 68.1°f (lowest reading was 65.0°f on 1 day and highest was 70°f  on 1 day)

To give you an idea of the difference that elevation has on temperatures, here is the breakdown of temperature data from August 2012 when we were living at 3,950 feet elevation, about 1,000 feet higher than we’re living now:

  • 6am average: 62.4°f (lowest reading was 61°f on 6 days)
  • Mid-day average: 73.7°f (high of 79°f on 1 day & the lowest high of 70°f on 1 day)
  • 6pm average: 65.6°f (lowest reading was 64°f on 6 days and highest was 68°f  on 1 day)

Atenas

Our friend, Lance Turlock , recorded day-to-day overnight low temperatures and daytime high temperatures at their home in Vista Atenas at an elevation of 2760 feet:

Atenas Temperature data from August 1st to August 31st (31 days)

  • Overnight lows (about 6am) Average: 65.7°f (lowest reading was 65.7°f  & highest reading was 70.7°f)
  • Daytime highs (about noon) Average: 82.1°f (highest reading was 87.8°f  & lowest reading was 76.5°f)

 

Atenas Rain Data from August 1st to August 31st (31 days)

  • 13.5 inches of total rainfall over 16 days
  • 15 days with no measurable rainfall

We’ll continue the weather info next month.

 

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, and Nuevo Arenal  – September 2013

You’ll notice that our monthly weather report has a new look, and a newly added  location – Nuevo Arenal, located on the north side of Lake Arenal. Not only are we going to show rainfall and temperatures for three towns in Costa Rica, we’re showing it in a format that makes it easier to compare the data.

The normal rainfall for the Nuevo Arenal area (the north side of the lake) is between 160-200 inches per year. The dryer months of February through May receive about 4 inches per month of rainfall. The other side of the lake, where the town of Tilarán is located, has rainfall more

like San Ramon, with about 80 inches of rain per year, however it is windier on the south side of the lake.

In 2011, our weatherman, John recorded 171 inches of rainfall. In 2012, he recorded 155 inches. In 2013-to-date, they have received almost 111 inches. As you can see, they get an incredible amount of rain. Interestingly, the south side of the lake gets over 50% less than the north side. John says that the other side, the south side where Tilarán is located, is on the continental divide and gets less of the Caribbean effect, hence less rain. As you can imagine, the Nuevo Arenal side is more jungley, yet it’s only a 30 minute drive from there to Tilarán.

You can still click on the map to the left 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.

Click to enlarge.

 

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, & Nuevo Arenal  – October 2013

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. 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.

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:

  • “This is the first month since we’ve been in Costa Rica (over 4 1/2 years) that it has rained every day! We had a total of 31.6 inches of rain in October, and that makes last month our rainiest month ever.
  • We’re coming into our coolest time of the year (November and December) as the sun goes south toward the Tropic of Capricorn, at 21.5 degrees on December 21st, before heading north again.
  • Interestingly, our winter (May to November) ends when the rainy season, sometimes called the “green season,” ends. Rainy season mornings have been mostly clear and beautiful this October. We could easily see Puntarenas, the Gulf of Nicoya, and the Nicoya Peninsula (over 25 miles away) from our house.”

Lance’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • “Over half the total rainfall occurred on six separate days. The remainder was spread out over the month with many days of little or no rain.
  • The sun appeared for a period of time on all or almost all days with rain. This is in contrast to the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. (e.g. Seattle) or the West Coast of Canada (e.g. Vancouver) where, when it begins to rain at any time in October, November to March or April, the sun may not shine for several days (with or without rain). The autumn/winter Northwest-West Coast rains are often a boring drizzle – but better than sub-zero temperatures in the minds of many – including ourselves. In Vancouver, we never had a problem with the autumn/winter rainy climate. But, some of our friends did. They found the continuous cloudiness and rain during the winter to be depressing.
  • Being from the West Coast, we are conditioned to rain. We like the rain which occurs during the rainy or “green” season in Costa Rica because it is not as overbearing as the West Coast. Also, it is a break from the boring “dry” season which occurs in Costa Rica. The occasional downpours which happen over a an hour or so during the “green” season are fun to experience.”

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

  • Population of the Canton de Tilarán: 20,000
  • Population of the Distrito de (Nuevo) Arenal: 4,000
  • Driving time from Nuevo Arenal to Tilarán: 30 minutes
  • Lake Arenal is 20 miles long.
  • Normal rainfall for the Nuevo Arenal area (the north side of the lake): between 160-200 inches per year
  • My wife, Cathy, and I have lived at Lake Arenal for over 22 years and we started our B & B, Chalet Nicholas, in 1992.


 

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, & Nuevo Arenal  – November 2013

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. 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.

Click to enlarge.

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:

  • In October, we had 31.6 inches of rain but only 4.95 in November. It’s safe to say the rainy season is over until May.
  • The town of San Ramón is 10 minutes from our house. It’s warmer there, with less rain, and has the best weather in the San Ramón area.
  • The town of San Ramón is only 1.27 km. square.
  • San Ramón is 45 minutes from the airport, Atenas, and the closest, nice beach with monkeys.
  • On a clear day, we can see over 40 miles from our porch to the mountains on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Lance’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • November’s temperatures are unremarkable, but the total rainfall (5 in.) appears to less than average and the number of days (20) without rain appears to be significantly less than average.
  • Over 80% of the rain fell on 5 separate days.
  • The end of the green season was clearly signaled by dry winds and breezes which became noticeable during the last few days of the month.

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

  • Since mid-November there has been a noticeable increase in the number and variety of birds coming to our feeders.  Among the new arrivals are the Collared Aracaris (smallish toucans) which will take pieces of bananas from your hand.
  • For the 24 hour period 7 AM November 30 to 7 AM December 1, we received 4 inches of rain.

 

Monthly Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, & Nuevo Arenal  – December 2013

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.

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 getting chilly in San Ramon. It was only 60° F on December 28th at 6:00 a.m.
  • In December, This year‘s windy season, or “Christmas winds” as they are called, began in December. They are far less intense than we’ve experienced in our previous 5 years in Costa Rica.
  • It’s much warmer in the sun, plus 8-10 degrees at 3,000 ft. elevation and 9 degrees north of the equator.
  • San Ramon is 3 hours from Nuevo Arenal and Chalet Nicholas B&B
  • We only had 1 day with rain, measuring only .1”

Lance’s Atenas Observations, Facts, & Tidbits:

  • Consistent with the dry season, there was only 1 day with measurable rain (~ 0.1 in.). On a couple of other days there were some sprinkles, but they were sun-showers lasting only a few minutes.
  • The Year’s Weather:
    • Christmas day had the second coldest overnight low of the year (60.4 °F). The coldest was in February (59.7 °F).
    • The hottest day of the year was in March (94.1 °F). However, that temperature was accompanied by low humidity (29%) – so the heat was a not too uncomfortable dry heat.
    • Since late May when we got a rain guage until the end of the year the total rainfall was 64 inches.

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

    • December 2013 had 40% less rainfall than the previous two Decembers. It’s much too early to tell if this is the beginning of a dry trend, even though 2013 had more rainfall than the previous year.
    • For a couple of weeks this month, a coatimundi (an animal in the raccoon family) visited our bird feeding stations and ate quite a few bananas. So did a Gray-necked Woodrail (for the bird-watching enthusiasts).

    Click to enlarge.

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.

We will continue the weather info next month.

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