Apr 17 2015

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

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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 March:

  • March and April are the warmest months on the Pacific side of Costa Rica.
  • The town of San Ramon, just 10 minutes away by car, sits at 3450 ft. elevation. It is usually warmer in town than at our 3,000 ft. elevation mountainside home.
  • The winds have abated somewhat, but are still fierce at times, with gusts over 50 mph.
  • We like the climate in San Ramon and made it one of the major reasons we still choose San Ramon.
  • Our closest beach, Playa Doña Ana, is less than an hour away from where we live, and temps there commonly hit 95-100 in March and April.
  • Gloria & I still use the Caja as much as possible.
  • 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 March:

  • As in past years, March has been characterized by comfortably cool morning temperatures (which may require a sweater or jacket) and comfortably warm daytime high temperatures. But, be aware that daytime high temperatures can seem exceedingly hot (and not at all “comfortably warm”) if you choose to expose yourself to the direct rays of the sun. This is because you are exposing yourself to radiant heat directly from the sun as well as convection heat absorbed by the air. Radiant heat can result in painfull sunburns or worse. All that you might hear about temperatures from the weather guy or gal on radio or TV, or current conditions or forecasts that you might read on the Internet, is largely based upon convection heat temperatures without any regard to radiant heat.
  • In Vista Atenas, there was absolutely no rain, not even a dribble, during the month of March. As is historically usual in March, daytime humidities were quite low. In fact, the humidities were so low this March that the “feels like” high temperature was higher than the actual air temperature on only one day. Of course, these were convection heat temperatures.
  • 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 March:

  • We had two weeks of pure sunshine and no rain this month. Summer is finally here!
  • With all the weather changes, we just live day by day and appreciate the beautiful tropical environment any time of year.
  • Lake Arenal is special, with the Volcano, Lake, Continental Divide and Forests – plus friendly community….a very happy environment for both Ex-Pats and Ticos.
  • 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 March:

  • The weather in March was a little steamy. Days in the nineties and nights in the high sixties/low seventies. The hottest day was on the 28th when the daytime temperature reached a high of 99 degrees with a heat index of 113 degrees. It has everyone here wishing for the start of the rainy season to break the high temperatures we have been having.
  • Most of the people head indoors after about 10 in the morning and come back out in late afternoon when it begins to cool off. You have to tip your hat to those workers who have to brave the heat and continue to work outside.
  • All I can say it is really great to be retired and living in always warm Costa Rica.
  • 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 March:

  • The rainy season is on it’s way! March saw 10 days of rain, with 3 days of no measurable amount. Total rainfall was 7.25″, (18.41 cm) with one day of over 2″ (5.1 cm) . The rain was good to see as it got rid of the dusty roads, but I know I’ll be singing a different tune this October/November!
  • We have started to see a return of some rainy season birds, so that’s just more confirmation of what there is to come. The other day we had a Toucan smack into our living room window …… almost made the whole house shake! He lay there for a few minutes to catch is breath, (and probably wait for his head to stop spinning), then took off again. I imagine he had a sore beak for a while after that! Sometimes
    it isn’t easy being a bird!
  • Our landlord was here last month, (he spends his Canadian winters in Panama) and we got the go ahead to repaint the inside of the house with mold resistant paint, (which he is paying for) so you can guess what we’ve been up to for the last week and a half! As I am allergic to penicillin, I am careful when it comes to mold! And the good news is that over half the house is now done, walls and baseboards. Too bad is isn’t a one-coat-covers paint, but hey, if that is the only down side to living in this great country, life is still pretty fantastic. Pura Vida!

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

  • Total rainfall to date is 17.4 inches. Last year at this time it was 3.8 inches. This is a huge difference. As mentioned in last month’s report, in March of 2014 the river that provides our water went dry. It was no joking matter. The water company sent several trucks up the mountain each day to fill the water tank for our neighborhood. No water reached our house during the day and at night there was just a trickle. Fortunately we have a storage tank and pump and the trickle was enough to keep our tank full. Our neighbors across the road, however, had no such tank, so we welcomed them into our home to use the bathroom facilities. This lasted for about three weeks.


  • During March (actually, since mid-November) we were under the influence of the trade winds, a high pressure system. Our veranda looks toward San Jose and the mountains south of it. Around mid-March we began to notice a line of white, puffy clouds south of the mountains. These were the leading edge of the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, formerly known as the doldrums, a low pressure system). At this time of year the weather bands that circle the earth are slowly migrating northward, so we should soon be under the influence of the ITCZ, which means less winds and the arrival of the rainy season. There are usually a few weeks in March when the winds die down and the rains have not yet arrived. The Ticos call this brief period las calmas de marzo (the March calms). Las calmas arrived about ten days ago. The trade winds are back now, but just like spring up in the US, the weather goes back and forth a bit before the new weather system arrives and takes over.
  • April and November are our two favorite months in Costa Rica. When folks come from the States to visit, we recommend these times. From December through March we have strong winds mixed with rain. In April, the wind dies down (ahem, usually) and we begin to get a few heavy rainstorms coming from the west. Everything is green, the weather is pleasant, and it is also low season for tourism (at least it is right after Easter), meaning lower airfares, lower hotel rates, and less congestion and hassle. In November the rain slacks off quite bit and we begin to recover emotionally from our previous two months of monsoon weather.

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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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