Monthly Costa Rica Weather Report for 8 Towns in Costa Rica–November 2015

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

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

You can click on the map above to enlarge it and check out the average rainfall for the towns in which you are interested.

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

  • We had four days with highs of 70 degrees. Remember, they are the highs, so most of the days were in the 60s as the temperature moved up to 70 degrees.
  • The rainy season ended on November 22nd. After that, we had zero rainfall for the remainder of the month.
  • The Christmas winds started on the 23rd, assuring us of mostly dry days on the Pacific side of the country for the rest of November and going forward.
  • Our lowest high was only 68 degrees. Brrrrrrr. Our warmest day was a toasty 76 degrees.
  • 20151129_porchphoto_smOur back porch (approximately 400 sq. ft.) is usually 8-10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature in the shade as our “oven” (tin roof and tile floor) warms our bones, even when it’s a chilly 70 degrees “outside.” We live outside much of the year and eat many dinners on our back porch, enjoying the view and the tranquility.
  • On a clear day, we can easily see 30 miles off our back porch, to Puntarenas, across the Gulf of Nicoya, and beyond to the mountains of the Nicoya Peninsula.
  • 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 November:

  • During the first part of November, there were frequent days with rain, including one day with over an inch and two days with over three inches. The total was over 5 times that during the same period last year. Then, everything changed. The last week in November brought clear sky mornings and warm breezy days – the start of the dry season. But, it was a false start. The rains returned in the second week of December with a 2.6 inch deluge on December 13. This compares with about  2.4 inches in all of November and December last year.
  • Temperatures were normal in November this year – the average daytime high being virtually the same as last year.
  • 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 November:

  • The birds have migrated from the north this month and our bird feeders (with fresh bananas twice a day) are teeming with colorful tropical birds again. We and the tourists love watching as they are incredibly beautiful creatures. We have over 100 varieties here at Chalet Nicholas and around Lake Arenal because it abounds with lush rainforest trees.
  • The November rain and winds started as usual and the windsurfing on Lake Arenal started December 1st and goes through April, enough to satisfy them at the west end of the lake.
  • 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 November:

  • November was a cooler month than usual, with 10 days in  the upper 80’s as compared to only one day last November.
  • The town is beginning to get very busy, with high season starting. Hotel prices have gone up and prices on goods have risen. This always causes people who live here all year to try and stock up on  nonperishable products.
  • Rainfall was 2 and 1/2 times more than last year’s.
  • Muggings and robberies have continued in the area. Police have determined that most of the robbers are from northern part of the country and also from Panama.
  • A group of Americans, Canadians and Costa Ricans got together for Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant. There was lots of turkey and all the trimmings, with a good time had by all.
  • With Christmas less than a month away, the Christmas lights are being turned on all over the area. On the 16th of December, Mary and I are leaving for the States to spend Christmas and New Years with friends and family and will return home around the 6th of January.
  • 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 November:

  • Total rainfall was 12.45 inches, with only 2 days of more than 1.6″. This is a big difference from Quebradus, which is 15 minutes NE of San Isidro de El General, while Villa Nueva is 10 minutes NW, near Santa Rosa. Less rain and the temperatures are several degrees warmer, but we are at a slightly lower altitude at 800 meters or 2600 feet. But the gentle breeze is still there, cooling the evenings nicely!
  • We had a great holiday back in Canada for 2 months. We spent September in Alberta, most of the time in our old home town, visiting with many friends. We ran out of time!!  Then in October, we were on the East coast, in Newfoundland, visiting with my wife’s family. Always great to see them. I had never been back there to see the fall colors. It was awesome!
  • We got back home to Costa Rica for November, and have moved into a new-build-home that friends of ours have built to rent out.  We left a totally furnished house to move to a house with stove, fridge, and washer only, so we have been “stimulating the economy,” you might say, as we get our new place set up.  Life is great!

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

  • Heredia-MapRainy Season and El Niño – El Niño didn’t really affect us here in San Rafael de Heredia. Temperatures were about normal and by the end of November we had already recorded a five-year high in rainfall – 139 inches. The year 2011 had been our previous high, at 129.9 inches. This November was the rainiest we’ve recorded so far.
  • Gardening – The dry season is normally my most active time in the garden – I like dry season because there are fewer weeds and plant diseases, more sun, and I use nutrient-rich water from the fish pond for irrigation. I begin my gardening in earnest when the rain drops off in November, but this year (with the heavy November rains) I got a late start.

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

  • SanMarcosDeTarrazuMapWe were travelling the first seven days of November, so temperature data is based on 23 days.  Our neighbor tracked the rainfall for us, so those numbers reflect the entire month.
  • Temperatures here continue to average in the low 60’s at night and in the low 80’s during the day.
  • Mother Nature pretty much turned off the faucet for two weeks starting November 22, but not until we had racked up 13.7 inches for the month, our highest total since I started tracking it at the beginning of August.
  • Year to date rainfall total is for August through November.

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

  • ElCajonDeGreciaMapThe first three weeks of November were very wet. We got more rain (518.5 mm, 20.4 inches) than November 2013 and 2014 combined.
  • The rainy season came to an abrupt end on November 23, when the trade winds picked up and the humidity dropped. Average high humidity was 96.6%, average low humidity was 58.8%. Not much different from October.
  • On our property we have two identical, calibrated hi/low thermometers and hygrometers, one at our main house and another at a slightly lower elevation (less than 10 meters difference) and slightly different exposure. We record data from each, but report the data from the one at the house because that one has the longest data series. The readings are similar, but the data from our house (which is slightly more exposed to the wind and air flow) tends to be a little more extreme.
  • The weather up here on the slopes of Vulcan Poás is much cooler than in downtown Grecia, which is at an elevation of 1000 meters (3,280 feet). We always have to change into lighter clothing when we take the 15 minute, five km. drive to town.
  • Coffee picking season has begun in earnest. Every morning, we see and hear the pickers — families, kids and all — across the canyon on the slopes of San Luis. They say it’s a good year for coffee…but coffee futures are down. Pickers get only 1 mil colones (2 bucks) for a canasta (25 pounds) of ripe, red coffee cherries. It’s a tough way to make a living.

Costa Rica Weather Report for November





Our San Ramón Weatherguy, Paul YeatmanPaulHubPhoto

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 Weatherguy, 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 Weatherguy, 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) Weatherguy, 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.

Gordon_photo_croppedOur Villa Nueva (10 minutes NW of San Isidro de El General) Weatherguy, 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 2, 2014, and originally lived in Quebradus, which is 15 minutes NE of San Isidro de El General, but as of November 2015 now live in Villa Nueva, which is 10 minutes NW of the city.  They are at a altitude of about 800 meters, living in a rental house that friends built on their acreage.  The fruit trees are abundant, and in the rainy season the water in the nearby streams can be heard from their deck.  They overlook a beautiful valley, and enjoy watching the sun setting behind the hills every night!

SteveJohnsonOur San Rafael de Heredia Weatherguy, 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.

BonnieViningOur San Marcos de Tarrazu Weathergirl, Bonnie Vining

Bonnie, her husband Joe, and their dog Marley moved from Tucson, Arizona, to San Marcos de Tarrazu, in mid-2015. Bonnie was a CPA, turned software engineer with IBM for 20 years and later opened and operated a specialty coffee shop, founded a non-profit dedicated to connecting musicians with appreciative audiences, and managed a school district theatre. A self-professed “data geek”, she looks forward to being our weathergirl while pursuing her other passions which include traveling, gardening, cooking, hiking, meeting people, and hanging out with Joe and Marley. They are enjoying retirement life in the town of San Marcos which lies at about 4,800 ft. in the heart of Costa Rica’s prime coffee-growing region.

Our El Cajón de Grecia Weathergirl, Irina JustIrina-with-mariposa-at-la-P

Born in Germany, Irina spent 40+ years in the USA (all on the Pacific coast) before she and her husband Jim moved to Costa Rica three years ago. For the 20 years prior, they owned and operated a vineyard in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, famous for award-winning pinot noir. During that time, it became critical to keep precise records of daily temperatures, rainfall and pertinent weather patterns to accurately forecast seasonal tasks, such as when to prune the grapes, when to harvest, when to protect them from an early or late frost. As little as one degree made the difference between a bountiful harvest – or a lost crop. After moving to el Cajón de Grecia, the Justs continued to take daily readings of temperatures and measurements of rainfall because they quickly discovered that the micro-climate in the foothills of Poás differs widely from the weather in nearby Grecia.

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