Feb 27 2015

Monthly Costa Rica Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, Quepos, Near San Isidro de General, & San Rafael de Heredia – January 2015

Monthly Costa Rica Weather Report for San Ramón, Atenas, Nuevo Arenal, Quepos, San Isidro de General, & San Rafael de Heredia – January 2015

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

You’ll notice that we now show rainfall and temperatures for six towns in Costa Rica. We are happy to welcome Steve Johnson, our new weatherman, who lives in the town of Concepcion de San Rafael de Heredia. You can get to know Steve by reading his bio below.

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 January:

  • The Christmas winds got started in earnest in January. Sometimes they start as early as October.
  • In January, though we measured zero rainfall, we had trace amounts of rain on 6 days.
  • In Costa Rica, which lies between 8° and 11° latitude, altitude and topography are the biggest variants to temperature and rainfall.
  • Costa Rica has never had a direct hurricane hit.costa-rica-map_cropped4
  • Total rainfall in 2014 total was 120 inches and 2013’s rainfall was 111 inches in our area of San Ramón.

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

  • January was very dry. On a couple of days there were traces of rain which lasted for a few minutes, but nothing measurable.
  • Daytime highs (meaning air temperatures) were accompanied by low humidities. In fact, the humidities were so low that if you apply “The Heat Index Equation” used by the U.S. National Weather Service, there were only 5 days in January when the “heat index” or “feels like” temperature was more than the measured air temperature. For example, the hottest daytime high was a relatively comfortable 86.5 °F on January 12. But with an accompanying humidity of 30%, the “feels like” temperature was a more comfortable 84.2 °F. If the humidity had been 80%, then the “feels like” temperature would have been a stifling 101 °F.
  • On the other hand, nighttime lows regularly dipped into the low sixties – not so low as to require household heating, but sufficiently low to invite a sweater to feel comfortable in the early morning.
  • Total rainfall in 2014 was 73.59 inches and 2013’s rainfall was 63.84 inches in our area of Atenas.

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

  • We had the wettest January since we started keeping records in 2011 and all the plants and flowers are lush.
  • In addition, the winds were very strong, with gusts exceeding 100 kph around Lake Arenal.
  • We were very pleased to have many birds visiting our feeders this month and we happily made extra trips to the grocery stores in town to keep them supplied with bananas, their favorite food.
  • 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 January:

  • Well another year has passed and a new one is underway. I can remember in school it seemed like the year would never end and now all you have to do is blink and the year is gone.
  • The animal rescue we volunteer at, which is called PAWS, hosted a battle of the bands on January 25th at a restaurant in Paquita, a small town just north of Quepos. It was a packed house and a great time had by all.
  • The big attraction in town has been the 4 mast ship that has been anchored just outside the Marina.
  • We meet with Jason Holland on the 13th at our home, along with three other folks here. Two of the gentlemen were very long time residents of Costa Rica. The one gentlemen was the builder of our Marina and is now adding on to the Marina. The other gentleman was a Sport fishing owner operator for many years and is now retired. He has been in Costa Rica over forty years  so you can imagine the insight he could provide from then to now on living in this gorgeous country. The interview lasted most of the morning and Jason left with a wealth of information on the southern zone for his upcoming article for International Living Magazine.


  • We had a one-day rain storm that produced 6.7 inches of rain at our home in about two hours.
  • 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 January:

  • January rainfall was a total of 1 day at 1-1/8″, but then it is the dry season so I was surprised to even get that much.
  • Interesting to note that since October 15, 2014 when I started recording temperatures, the coldest morning low temperature was in January at 63°F. for 2 mornings in a row! (That would be 17C. for my Canadian friends, eh?)
  • We had a busy January – since Christmas we have had 22 days of company – and we love it!  We have found that when you live here in Costa Rica that some days are really great… and the rest are only better! If anyone has ever thought about moving to live in a warm, safe climate, you owe it to yourself to check out Cost Rica!

Steve’s San Rafael de Heredia Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for January:Heredia-Map

  • Our rainiest day was January 28th when we got 2.1 inches. In 5 years of recording data, this was the wettest January. The last three Januaries have been very dry, averaging only an inch.
  • The trade winds come through the Zurqui gap just east of us and when trade winds get riled up they have a tendency to make a right turn, which they do and come blasting across our north-south ridge.
  • We live 11 miles from the airport, and can’t see it, but a few seconds after the planes take off we can see them come up over the trees west of us. We are due north of the Banco Central and at night we can see the cars on the Calle Central in San Jose. Above us is mixed dairy and cloud forest.
  • When we bought our property in 2006, it was surrounded by coffee fields and vegetable farms. Coffee stops growing right at our elevation. The fields and farms are rapidly being cut down to build houses.




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 Central Pacific (Quepos) 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.

SteveJohnsonOur San Rafael de Heredia Weatherman, Steve Johnson

I’m a weather geek and have been recording daily weather data for the last 4 years in Concepcion de San Rafael de Heredia. We live at 5,000 ft. (1,500 meters) elevation, above San Rafael centro on a low ridge that comes off of Cerro Chompipe (between Barva Volcano and los Cerros de Zurqui). We have a 60 mile wide view from Turrialba Volcano east to somewhere around Cerro Turrubares west. I first lived in CR as a Peace Corps volunteer (1968-71), married a tica school teacher, and moved back to Costa Rica in 2009. My wife grew up in downtown San Rafael just three miles away, and the weather is quite different there. I am also an avid gardener and birder.

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