Costa Rica Weather–June 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
  • Tinamastes, Perez Zeledon
  • 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 June

If read every month, the following “observations, facts, & tidbits” can give you great insight into the areas of the country in which you might be interested. They are personal insights from folks with their feet on the ground in these towns.

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

  • June had 16.75″ of rain, which is still above the average for the month.
  • Interestingly, our coolest high temp (70 F) was sandwiched between our two warmest days (78 F).
  • When it’s cloudy, the highs tend to be in the low 70s, but when it’s sunny, the temps pop up a few degrees.
  • The weather in our area, San Ramón, tends to be a little cloudier, hence cooler, than the rest of the Central Valley. In addition, San Ramón sits at 3500 ft. elevation, while Palmares, Naranjo, Sarchi, and Grecia are slightly lower and warmer, with more sun.
  • Atenas center sits at 2,290 ft. elevation, while our weatherman, Lance’s elevation is 2670 ft. Some might say that Atenas is not located in the Central Valley.
  • We had one healthcare tour this month, with four people, a one-day tour of San Ramón, and a one-day intro to alternative medicine in Costa Rica tour. Which means we had three weeks to do nothing…but we never do nothing!
  • In our 20 minute talks at conferences, we speak about our lives, our $2,000/month budget, and the “purpose of purpose,” or, as we call it, “what do you do all day?”
  • costa-rica-map_cropped4Total 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 June:

  • Our weather records for June may be a bit corrupted because we have imported measurements from a nearby location to fill in gaps in our own records.
  • Early in the month, our old digital thermometer, which monitored humidity as well, was pinched from our patio table by some nefarious person. The perpetrator also pinched a cheap digital calculator which was likewise left outdoors – but he/she failed to pinch our rain gauge standing in plain sight in the middle of the yard. With the help of a friend, who happened to be in the USA at the time of the dastardly act, we were able to replace the thermometer within a few days.
  • While deprived of the ability to monitor temperatures at our own place, we decided to improvise. For each day, we gathered temperature highs and lows from a monitor set up by friends in Pica Flora with a connection to the Internet. Meanwhile, we were able to measure rainfall at our own place but kept a comparative eye on rainfall in Pica Flora.
  • As the crow flies, Pica Flora is about 3/4 of a mile away from our place in Vista Atenas. But, it is at a lower altitude and tends to be warmer. In Costa Rica, seemingly small differences in altitude can translate to significant differences in temperature. On any given day, small distances between geographic locations can translate to significant differences in rainfall. On one day in June, we measured over 1 1/2 inches. On the same day, Pica Flora measured 0.3 inches. This kind of discrepancy is not unusual and can happen over even shorter distances. It is an example of microclimates at work.
  • We now have a temperature/humidity system, most of which does not have to sit outdoors in the open and attract evil-doers. The main unit always sits indoors and provides a display of time, current indoor and outdoor temperatures and current indoor and outdoor humidities. It has a memory to record daily highs and lows. For whatever its worth, it also displays the current phase of the moon. A small inconspicuous monitor normally sits outdoors and wirelessly transmits temperature and humidity data to the main unit. It can be located in places unlikely to be seen by a thief. Even if it was found, it would probably be left alone because there are no markings to indicate its purpose and it is useless by itself.
  • 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 June:

  • Finally, the rainy season has begun. Although we received 20 inches of rain this month, it was less rainfall than the previous two Junes.
  • We only had 2 days all month without measurable rainfall, though only 3 days had 2 inches or more.
  • We’ve been in Costa Rica for over 25 years and own the B&B, Chalet Nicholas,located in Nuevo Arenal.
  • 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 June:

  • June was a busy month, with our daughter and one of her friends visiting. They managed to do some activities in between the rain. The rain shouldn’t have bothered them since everything they did was water related. We had a nice visit and great cookout while they were here.
  • Temperatures were fairly steady, with a few days in the high 80’s and low 90’s, with only a couple of hot days.
  • Starting to get the garden ready with some fresh dirt compose and mulch.
  • Our landlord has started putting in a new drive way and we are building a carport.
  • Map_Quepos_SanIsidroTotal rainfall for the last 2 years in our area:
    • 2015 – 130.3″ / 330.96 cm
    • 2014 – 73.5″ (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 June:

  • June was a slightly cooler month, with a low of 64F, and a high of 86F.  The average temperatures were also down a degree or two.
  • The rainfall came in at 12.75″, 32.4 cm, up slightly from last month’s of 11″. We had 6 days of no rain, and 3 days of less than 0.1 inches. The most rainfall in one day was 2.2″, so nothing really drastic to report on the weather at all …. I gotta say, life here in San Isidro de El General is mighty fine!
  • GordonPorchWe did some work around the yard in June, – we made a concrete block “wall” 2 blocks high around the patio to keep the friendly Mr. Toad out of his favorite bathroom!  We also recycled an old tire by wrapping rope, with glue, around it, put some legs on it, (thank you Pinterest) and now have an ottoman for the patio!  And of course, there were lots of weeds to pull in our two flower beds = the joy of the rainy season!
  • As this year is our 30th wedding anniversary, we are taking a 2 week river boat cruise down the Rhine river in Europe.  We leave from Budapest, and end up 2 weeks later in Amsterdam, so there will be no report from me for the month of July.  This is something we have talked about doing for some time now, so we are really excited about it.  I’ll be back in the August issue to tell you all about it!

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

  • Heredia-MapJune was a rainy, cloudy month, and was about a degree cooler than May. There was some wind, but not that bad, and there was a scattering of sun here and there. It was just the way I like it.
  • My first five years of recording weather data gave me a false sense of what it was like here. I had June pegged as the month with the most consistent rainfall – always between ten and thirteen inches.  I could count on that consistency in planning the garden. Then, last year, it went off the charts, at 24 inches. This year it was high again — 22 inches. I don’t know what to make of it.
  • We had a bumper crop of tomatoes coming in when the heavy rains began and there was so much moister in the soil and the plants, the tomatoes began bursting on the vine. So we resorted to picking them green, before they popped. Some of the greener ones we wrapped in newspaper. After about two weeks we unwrapped them and they were nice and red, and sweet.
  • There was less volcanic ash this month, which was a relief. We were tired of sweeping it off the porch and washing the cars. The last Saturday in June, Maria mopped the porch in the morning and in the afternoon we noticed it was covered in ash again, and then we saw on the news that Turrialba had erupted that morning.
  • We’re now half way through the year and year-to-date rain was 53.2 inches, which is the highest total in seven years of recording rain data. We’re off to a good start.
  • Costa Rica typically has some dry periods during June and July. This phenomenon is called a veranillo in Spanish (little summer). The first one is called el veranillo de San Juan because they say it happens around Saint John the Baptist’s saints day, June 25. Sure enough, on June 24 the rains slacked off and it was dry until the 29th. This is the first time since we’ve been here that the veranillo came so close to the correct date. The other veranillo is known as la canicula, and it happens in July (if we’re lucky). I’ll say something about that in my July report.
  • Finally, I wanted to say something about rainfall levels. As an avid (rhymes with “rabid”) gardener, late at night or in the wee hours of the morning I frequently find myself musing about gardening trivia. One thing I like to think about is: What is the ideal amount of rainfall in an average month? I guess it is about 10-12 inches. This keeps the garden moist, but not wet, and minimizes the need for watering. But, of course, it also depends on how the rain is spread out over the month and what one is growing, because each plant has different moisture needs – other interesting questions to ponder. And then there is the pond. I collect lots of rainwater and keep it pumping through the pond in order to keep the water clean and clear. Fifteen to twenty inches of rain a month is ideal for the pond. At least, that’s my latest theory.
  • Total rainfall for the last 3 years in our area of Heredia:
    • 2015 – 144.9 inches
    • 2014 – 115.1 inches
    • 2013 – 111.3 inches

Bonnie’s Tinamastes, Perez Zeledon Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for June:

  • TinamasteMapLast month I wrote about how much we enjoy walking to Feria Organica Tinamastes on Tuesday mornings. Another favorite activity is walking with Marley to the local internet café, Beija Flor.  The owner, Omer, and his family are moving to Germany for six months, and he has decided to close the cafe and put the business up for sale.  I’ll be at the Beija Flor table at the feria at least through the end of the year, selling vegan bagels, pita, sourdough and ciabatta breads. I love people, and it will be a great way to meet people in our community. If you’re in the area, please stop by to say ‘hi’.  Beija Flor’s table is just to the right of Tony Warren’s produce booth in the far right corner.
  • We’ve just had visitors from Tucson for three weeks. We took them to our old area and spent three nights in San Marcos de Tarrazu.  It was great to get back and visit the friends we miss so much there.  I love the clear, blue skies in the mornings there, but I was reminded of how cold it sometimes gets at night.  In the seven months that I recorded the weather for San Marcos, our temperatures ranged from 52 to 92 degrees.  In the two months that I’ve been tracking the weather here in Tinamastes, our temperatures have ranged from 71.5 to 80.3.   The weather here is just right…warm enough to wear tank tops and shorts every day, and I never feel a need to wear flannel pajamas at night.
  • We have a little studio casita that will make a nice short-term vacation rental. And with the help of our friend from Tucson, we’ve started renovating a small house on our property that will be a great place for people to stay to check out our area for longer periods.  We have a fair amount of work left to do on that, so we’ll be keeping busy in the coming months.
  • In last month’s observations, I mentioned the relative lack of infrastructure in our new area. Very high on that list is the lack of sidewalks.  I recently twisted an ankle and did a face plant on the asphalt while walking on the highway, and I was instantly reminded of how much easier life was when we had sidewalks to get from Point A to Point B.  Some kind neighbors cleaned my wounds and drove me home so Joe could take me to the EBAIS in Platanillo.  It’s a tiny, part-time clinic, but I hit the jackpot as it happened to be open when we got there.  The doctor and medic got me right in and stitched me up.  If the clinic had not been open, we would have had a 40-minute drive to the hospital in San Isidro, so I’m thanking my lucky stars (although I have to wonder where those lucky stars were when I took that tumble).  I’m planning to find out how much it will cost to put in about 1 km of sidewalk from the cemetery at one end of Tinamastes to the Mini Super/Soda Elizabeth at the other end, and I want to organize a fundraising campaign to make that happen.  Please stay tuned!

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

  • ElCajonDeGreciaMapYes, it rained a lot in June – in fact, the 511 mm (20.1″) we measured are in par with last year’s November rainfall numbers, which was 518.5 mm (20.4″).
  • In the meantime, the temperatures were one degree down from last year when we had an average high of 28.0°C (82.4°C) and an average low of 19.2 °C (66.6°C). However, they were similar to 2013 (26.3 °C and 19.5 °C) and 2014 (27.2 °C and 18.8 °C).
  • With the increased rainfall came the expected plethora of fauna. The garden is blooming exuberantly and plants are growing fast in front of our eyes. It became necessary to split many plants to reduce overcrowding, especially in the root balls. Our friends appreciated the give-aways a lot.
  • Butterflies are in abundance – sometimes 10 to a bush in a large variety of sizes and colors. A feast for our eyes.
  • The “afternoon” thunderstorms frequently came in the morning last month, often before noon, even as early as 10 AM, requiring adjustments to schedule and outside tasks. You gotta love the rainy season!
  •  2015 rainfall for year: 107.6 inches (273.23 cm)

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

  • SiquirresMapJune was a dry month in the Caribbean. It was still humid, of course, and we got enough rain to keep the vegetation green and the water running in the taps. However, with rainfall in the month only totalling 10″, it was just 1/6 of last year’s total for June, and 1/3 of that from 2014. We recorded no rain at all for 17 days (57%) out of the 30 days in the month. About a third of the month’s rainfall came on June 11, when we had a “tormenta. The wind seemed to bring the rain in from every direction at once.
  • Many of our days started off clear, but clouded over later in the morning as big clouds billowed up over the mountains behind us. The hottest part of the day was in the hours just before noon.The temperature data indicated that June was only marginally cooler than May despite us being in the middle of what is supposed to be our mid-year rainy season.
  • Total rainfall for the last 2 years in our area of Grand View Estates:
    • 2015 – 305.7 inches
    • 2014 – 208.2 inches (May through December)

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

  • map-CachiWe had 2 1/2 times as much rain in June as we did in May. Despite that, we still had 11 days without rain.
  • Usually, our daytime temps are pretty stable from day to day, but in June they were all over the place.
  • Our average overnight humidity was up to 97.5%  this month and the average daytime humidity was 62%. Daytime low humidity was 47% and daytime high was 94%.
  • Finca Update: Papua and Indonesia got a surprise of 10 new guineas that hatched this month. Sofía and Rosita are cranking out the milk. We’re getting 2 goatsmilkgallons a day currently.  That turns into a good bit of cheese. Also, I started a new renovation project wherein I was planning to raise the height of all the windows. (They were all at Tico height, so when I stood at the window, I had to crouch.) However,  I only raised half of them;  I razed the other half.  I had a brainstorm to knock out the whole wall out and make another terraza.  It’s a mess around here currently.
  • We had a small carnival come to town for a week.  It was our big excitement for the month.

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

  • Nice rain during June, well above average of other years. Total rainfall at the end of June is slightly above average as well. We had 11 days with no rain and three days with just a trace of rain.
  • The end of the month rain slowed down for the famous “Veranillo de San Juan,” or St. Johns’ Summer, which starts around June 24th which is John the Baptists day.
  • Agreeable temperature during the month.
  • If you are in the market for insurance — automotive, homeowners, liability or medical — contact us at Garrett Brokers, a family owned business that has serviced the expat community for more than 35 years.
  • 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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