Jun 28 2015

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

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You’ll notice that we now show rainfall and temperatures for six 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.

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 would especially like to add weather reports from Grecia and Puriscal. Anybody interested??

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

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

  • We spent the month preparing for our trip to Mexico. We left on June 2nd.
  • We ended up with 8.26 inches of rain, near the average for May, but it seemed much dryer since 47% of the rain fell on two days. There were only 10 days with precipitation, so 21 days with none.
  • I like May in Costa Rica. After the dry season, the rains of May make everything pop, that is, get real green and stand tall.
  • The next five months of the rainy season are an endurance contest!
  • costa-rica-map_cropped4Total 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 May:

  • The weather in May was not much different from the same month last year. On average, daytime highs were about the same.
  • Overnight lows were about ½ degree warmer.
  • There was a bit more rain, but still bordering on drought conditions.
  • 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 May:

  • This has been the rainiest May since we started keeping records in 2011: year to date rainfall has been double that of previous years.
  • There has been no water shortage in the Lake Arenal area.
  • 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 May:

  • Another month has came and gone and the rainy season has slowly began. Everything in this area is starting later than usual according to the local people who have lived in this area there entire life. Rain fall was low and fruit producing trees and plants are late blooming. The papaya fruit in our trees just out side our front door are just now beginning to ripen.
  • On a happier note, on the 21st we received our residency and got our drivers license so no more mandatory trips out of the country. On the 25th, there was a wounded warrior fundraiser at a local outdoor restaurant and bar. There were bands playing and plenty of food to eat.
  • We had a couple of very hot days in May; the hottest was on the second when it reached a 102 with a heat index of 118. We hope that June will be cooler if we have rain.
  • 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 Quebradas (San Isidro de General) Observations, Facts, & Tidbits for May:

  • May saw only 6 days with no rain, 2 days with less than 0.1″, (.254cm), and 1 day with 2″. The total for the month was 13.6″, (34.54 cm), up a whopping 80.25% from last month! It’s nice to see trees that we thought had died all of a sudden burst out with new leaves!
  • News in the Stanley household – we got a new vehicle – a 2004 Suzuki XL7. Much nicer ride than the good ol’ Geo Tracker! And, even better news, we received notice of acceptance of residency, so we are off to San Jose on June 18 to get our “official card.”  Pura Vida!

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

  • Rainy Season — Total rainfall to date is 28.8 inches. Last year at this time it was 14.7 inches. Despite April being a record-breaking dry month at our house, May came through like a trooper, although a little below average. So despite El Niño, we are doing extremely well. As you know, most of the electricity produced in Costa Rica is hydroelectric, which is natural for a country blessed with high rainfall and lots of mountains. The rivers in Costa Rica tend to be short and steep, so when it stops raining they dry up quickly. May is a critical month – after several months of no, or very little rain, if the rains don’t begin in May then reservoirs go dry and there is no water for household, agricultural, or industrial uses, and also, no water to drive the turbines that produce electricity. I remember once in the late 1970s the rains came very late. I’m not sure when they began, but it might have been as late as July. We were living in the States at the time, and our relatives in Costa Rica told us how terrible it was. There was a national electric blackout that lasted for a month or more. ICE shut off electricity during the day, but provided it for part of the night. People had to sleep during the day and work at night. If this happened again, it would be a national disaster, however now Costa Rica has wind, geothermal, and solar electricity, which would lesson the effect somewhat.Heredia-Map
  • Farming and Gardening — Now that the rains have arrived the local farmers are planting their crops. We have one neighbor who irrigates his lettuce fields, so for him it means he can just keep on growing lettuce, but without the irrigation. I also irrigate my vegetables and some of my ornamentals in the dry season. For the vegetable garden, I’ve been using water from the fishpond. This means I have to keep the pond topped up, but I get double use of the water. I have lots of big fish in the pond, so an added benefit is that the water is loaded with nutrients for the plants. In March and April I went hog wild and planted 20 trees. I’ve been watering the trees twice a week and am very happy that I can discontinue this now.

Costa Rica Weather Report


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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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