Apr 04 2016

Costa Rica Weather–February 2016 Observations, Facts, & Tidbits

You’ll notice that we now show rainfall and temperatures for eleven towns in Costa Rica:

  • San Ramón de Alajuela
  • Atenas
  • Nuevo Arenal
  • Quepos
  • Near San Isidro de General
  • San Rafael de Heredia
  • San Marcos de Tarrazu
  • El Cajón de Grecia
  • Grand View Estates, Siquirres
  • Volio de Cachí, Orosi Valley
  • Escazú

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 above to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns in which you are interested.

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. Anybody interested?? (NOTE: we plan to include weather reports for both Puriscal and Santa Cruz in the coming months.)

Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for January

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

  • February was another extremely windy month. The windy season started late this year.  These high winds which can occur between December and April are not unusual. They happen every year, but their severity and duration can fluctuate yearly.monkeyinporotree2
  • Our coolest nighttime average of 60.8°F was the coolest it’s been in the 7 years we’ve been living in Costa Rica.
  •  We had 3 days with lows of 58°F. Contrast that with 3 days of highs of 78°F, and our highest reading of 79°F.
  • Once again, we had absolutely no rain for the month.
  • Our house is still for sale and we are still looking for a great rental in downtown San Ramon.
  • We had 7 people on our last healthcare tour, learning about the private and public medical systems in Costa Rica.
  • The white-faced monkeys have been out in full force, drinking the nectar from the blossoms of the beautiful orange Poró trees.costa-rica-map_cropped4
  • Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of San Ramón:
    • 2015 – 103 inches
    • 2014 – 120 inches
    • 2013 – 111 inches

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

  • February was generally mild and breezy, sometimes with moderate gusts of wind but not with any dramatically high gusts as reported in some parts of the country.
  • There was no rain the entire month of February.
  • Typical of the dry season, and taking into account daily low humidity, many days in February (actually 21 of 29) had a daytime high “feels like” temperature which was less than the measured air temperature. The difference ranged from about 0.1 °F less to about 2.6 °F less, the latter occurring on a day when the humidity dropped to 28% as the day went on. Coincidentally, the hottest “feels like” temperature and the hottest measured air temperature were the same (89.4 °F), although on different days. So, during the entire month, neither the real temperature nor the “feels like” temperature ever reached 90 °F in our little corner of the country.
  • Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of Atenas:
    • 2015 – 63.70 inches
    • 2014 – 73.59 inches
    • 2013 – 63.84 inches

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

  • It was a cool month, indeed.
  • The rainfall was average but the winds were very strong.
  • Our atomic clock, which provides us with the time, dates, and both indoor and outdoor temperatures, began acting mysteriously. Several times we saw nothing but a blank screen. Even after changing batteries, the screen remained blank. However, after 24 hours or less, we got back all the readings. We discovered that these “blackouts” corresponded with extreme sunspot and solar wind activity, which we found by Googling NASA’s website.
  • Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of Nuevo Arenal:
    • 2015 – 208.34 inches, setting a new record!
    • 2014 – 184.95 inches
    • 2013 – 164.75 inches

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

  • It seems like more than two months since my last weather report. When we traveled back to the States in December, it was for just a three week visit, which turned into a six week ordeal. I had an EKG done and they found a flutter in my heart causing my heart rate to increase and my shortness of breath. My cardiologist said I needed a heart oblation performed. He set me up with a elecro-cardiologist. I had the procedure done by cauterizing the nerve that was causing it. Now my heart rate is back to normal and my breathing is normal. It was really nice to get back home to Costa Rica.
  • February was a no days under 90 and some as high as 99 with a heat index of a 116 degrees.
  • We had zero rainfall, which has caused the grass to brown and a lot of watering of the small young plants and trees. Almost everyone is ready for the rainy season.
  • 2015 rainfall in our area was 130.3 inches through the end of November.
  • Map_Quepos_SanIsidro2014 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 Villa Nueva (San Isidro de El General) Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for February:

  • January was another dry month for San Isidro de El General.  We did get a few spots of rain on January 28. Well, enough to make the pavement wet, but that was all. That was the first rain since December 16, 2014, when we got a similar “downpour!”
  • But things are consistent here in San Isidro de El General – here is a recap of temps for the last four months:     SanIsidroWeather
  • February saw us busy around the yard working on landscaping. We purchased a number of plants for several areas and spent the next two weeks watering them morning and night to make sure we didn’t lose any. So far, so good. The landlord brought in some crushed rock to put around the perimeter of the house, then we added some larger rocks in areas where the crushed rock had to be contained.
  • We also had some company from Minnesota for 9 days. Always good to see old friends, talk about old memories, and make new ones.  More company from Canada and Oregon coming in March!  Life is good!

Steve’s San Rafael de Heredia Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for February:

  • Heredia-MapAfter a very dry January, the rain and the wind picked up in February. We got three storms: the first one lasted nine days; the second, five days, the third, four days. We’re hoping for a calmer March.
  • From time to time, I’m reminded that I’m good at recording the weather, but not so good at predicting it. No sooner did I predict a severe dry season than the rains came and the grass got green again. This is good.
  • When the rains began, my water storage tanks were empty. After 5 inches of rain the tanks had collected 4,000 gallons.  Our average annual rainfall is 115 inches, so, let’s see, that means I could potentially collect 92,000 gallons of water a year. Oh baby, you know what I like!
  • The big event of the month was the arrival of our son Joe for a three-week visit. He’d been coming at Christmas, but when he’d get back to Boston he still had a long stretch of winter ahead of him. So this year he got smart. One day I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, it only got up to 73 today.” Joe responded, “Dad, that’s 60 degrees warmer than Boston.”
  • Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of Heredia:
    • 2015 – 144.9
    • 2014 – 115.1
    • 2013 – 111.3

Bonnie’s  San Marcos de Tarrazu Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for February:

  • We have recently moved and will continue our weather reporting from our new location in May.

Irina’s El Cajón de Grecia Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for February:

  • ElCajonDeGreciaMapAgain, we had no rain whatsoever – not even a trace, compared with 1.7 mm last year; 2.0 mm in 2014 and .1 mm in 2013.
  • Like almost everywhere else in Costa Rica, the number one topic in February was the wind. In el Cajón, winds topped 90 kph, ripping roofs off or folding them over to reveal shabby construction, loose wiring, and disjointed boards underneath. Many of them have not yet been repaired.
  • Toppled trees and uprooted bushes were everywhere; we personally only lost one “tree” – a pencil cactus which we since have successfully replanted in a more suitable  location.
  • Because of the strong winds, we were unable to water in February, leaving the ground very dry and some plants very thirsty. However, this being the tropics, once we were able to water again, all sprang back to life very quickly. We are aware of water being a precious resource and only spot-water where needed, using mostly buckets or perfectly aimed sprinklers with a smaller radius.
  • I think one can tell the gringos who live here permanently from the vacationing tourists — we love the rainy season and very much look forward to its start, hopefully next month.
  • 2015 rainfall for year: 107.6 inches (273.23 cm)

Mike’s Grand View Estates (Siquirres) Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for February:

  • SiquirresMapFebruary turned out to be a bit wetter than the same month last year, thanks to one 5-day spell in which 453 mm (17.8 inches) of rain fell. That represented around 2/3 of the month’s total wet stuff. Included in this blast was a 1-day rainfall of 170 mm (almost 7 inches), and 3 days with 388 mm (15.3 inches).
  • Other than that, we had 12 days in February with no rain, and another day with just a trace. The temperature broke the 30°C (86.0°F) mark on 3 days, and fell below 20°C (68.0°F) on 7 nights. We are looking forward to March, which is typically our driest month.
  • Satellite data (http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/imagery/watl.html) shows a persistent area of clouds and high moisture out in the Pacific roughly between the Galapagos and Cocos Islands. This system sends tendrils of moisture northeasterly towards Central America; we seem to get our rain when one of these tendrils falls across Costa Rica, interrupting the trade winds as they try to cross the Central America cordillera from the Caribbean side. We blame El Nino.
  • Total rainfall for the last 2 years in our area of Grand View Estates:
    • 2015 – 305.7 inches
    • 2014 – 208.2 inches (March through December)

Juan Miguel’s Volio de Cachí Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for February:

  • map-CachiBecause we live smack-dab in the middle of CR, our weather is affected by both the Pacific and Caribbean influences. As a result we get some rain even in the dry season.
  • Overall, February was a little cooler than January.
  • There were about 3 days when there were hectares and hectares of coffee fields all in bloom. It almost looked like snow—which is as close to snow as I care to be.
  • We had 13 days of measurable rain this month, 2 days of misty “pelo de gato” that was unmeasurable and 1 foggy morning. Because we had as much rain as we did, I planted 19 new trees, 40 birds of paradise, and several new shrubs this month. Ain’t it crazy how in a country the size of West Virginia, we have such a varied weather patterns?
  • We had a new baby goat born this month. He is so sweet and so adorable. Did you know that neutered male goats make great pets? They are like big, sweet dogs. We can’t keep him so if any of you are looking for a new (and unusual pet) here’s your chance.
  • Our average overnight humidity was 80% again this month and the average daytime humidity was 66% Daytime low humidity was 36% and daytime high was 85%

Tim’s Escazú Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for February:

  • EscazuMapSome very cold days for Costa Rica.
  • We had a couple of days with some drops of rain, but only enough to wet the rain gauge, but not enough to get a reading.
  • Escazú County is one of 20 counties that make up the San Jose Metropolitan Area. It is west of the downtown San Jose area, with the Escazú mountains as its backdrop.

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