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Costa Rica Weather

Costa Rica 3D view  Costa Rica is located geographically only about eight degrees of north latitude of the equatorial line, thus Costa Rican climate is tropical all year round. However, because of the extraordinarily diverse amount of involved factors, the resulting country climate is a set of regional sub-climates. Therefore, the tropical weather of Costa Rica is greatly affected by its geography at the very local level. These factors include the totally heterogeneous relief (ranging from 0 to 3,431 m in only 51,100 km²) and the way as all its components (mountains, volcanoes, plains, valleys and plateaus) are distributed; the situation in respect to the two continental masses as American isthmus; the influence of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans (sea winds and ocean current with their own temperatures, besides low pressure systems, tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes) and the general atmospheric circulation.

(En Español: Clima de Costa Rica)

Current Weather of Costa Rica - Updated Satellite Image

Latest Image - GOES-13 1 km (only VISible, unavailable on night). Updates each 10 min.
Based on Costa Rica satellite images thanks to RAMMB and CIRA programs (Colorado State University).
- * -
* As the image time is Universal Time Coordinated or UTC (as before with GMT), subtract 6 h to get Costa Rica time.

Costa Rica
Location: 9°55'N 84°4'W (At the center of America, in the American Isthmus).
Subdivisions: Provinces: 7, Cantons: 81, Districts: 473
Area: 51,100 km² (19,730 sq mi) | Population: 4,563,539 (2010)

Main Climatic Subdivisions:
Rainfall Regions (Drainage Basins Systems):
     Pacific: Dry and rainy period well defined. The dry one is from December to April.
     Caribbean: Dry period is not well defined (less rainy months have 100-200 mm of rainfall.
Climatic Regions:
     Northern Pacific, Central Pacific, Southern Pacific, Central Region, Northern Zone, Northern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean


The only Official Information and Current Weather Reports in Costa Rica are from Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (National Weather Institute)
Partial Cloudiness Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feeds See its Current Weather and Forecast Report (In spanish, but is a graphically eloquent animated map report):
Wednesday 20 September 2023 Parcialmente nublado a Nublado | Parcialmente nublado a Nublado ⛅ | ⛅⛈ | ✧☽ ☁
Partly cloudy to Cloudy | Isolated Rain

This Wednesday in Costa Rica persists the influence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which as the last few days, remains nearby providing moisture and unstable atmospheric conditions. In the morning there will be partly cloudy skies over much of the country, favoring the evaporation process so that, in the afternoon, there will be isolated showers with thunderstorms along the mountains of the national territory, in addition to the lowlands of the North Pacific, Central Valley and the Northern Zone.

Central Valley: Variable cloudiness.
North Pacific: Partly cloudy, possible rains.
Central Pacific: Variable cloudiness, possible rains.
South Pacific: Variable cloudiness.
North Caribbean: Partly cloudy, possible rains at coasts.
South Caribbean: Partly cloudy, possible rains at coasts.
North Zone: Partly cloudy.

Central Valley: Partly cloudy. Bank fogs in first hours.
North Pacific: Variable cloudiness, possible rains at coastal areas.
Central Pacific: Variable cloudiness, possible rains in coasts.
South Pacific: Partly cloudy.
North Caribbean: Partly cloudy, possible rains at coasts.
South Caribbean: Partly cloudy, chance of rains at coast.
North Zone: Partly cloudy.

Central Valley: Mostly cloudy with rains and thunderstorms.
North Pacific: Partly cloudy with rains and thunderstorms.
Central Pacific: Cloudy with rains and thunderstorms.
South Pacific: Cloudy with rains and thunderstorms.
North Caribbean: Partly cloudy. Rains in the mountains.
South Caribbean: Partly cloudy. Possible rains in the mountains.
North Zone: Partly cloudy with rains and thunderstorms.

Central Valley: Partly cloudy, possible rains in first hours.
North Pacific: Partly cloudy with rains and thunderstorms.
Central Pacific: Cloudy with rains in first hours.
South Pacific: Cloudy with rains in first hours.
North Caribbean: Partly cloudy.
South Caribbean: Partly cloudy.
North Zone: Partly cloudy with rains and thunderstorms.
Temperatures in Costa Rica

Temperatures (Max/Min ºC):
San José 23/17 | Alajuela 28/16 | Cartago 23/14 | Heredia 24.0/15.0 | Puntarenas 33.1/23.1 | Liberia 33.0/21.0 | Nicoya 33.5/20.0 | Bagaces 34.0/20.0 | Quepos 33.0/22.0 | Parrita 32.0/21.0 | Golfito 32.1/21.2 | Isla del Coco 33.0/22.0 | San Isidro de El General 26.0/18.0 | Guápiles 30.0/20.0 | Tortuguero 31.0/20.0 | Limón 30.1/21.0 | Sixaola 31.0/22.0 | Ciudad Quesada 25.0/18.0 | Upala 30.0/21.0 | Sarapiquí 31.0/22.0 |

Source: Juan Diego Naranjo (Meteorologist) - Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN)

Costa Rica Weekly Weather Forecast (12 - 15 September 2019)

Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN)

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, weekly forecast included

Partly cloudy to Cloudy | Rain | Rainy Season
 This week the proximity of the Intertropical Convergence Zone along with the passage of tropical wave #33 from Friday night, will be generating very rainy conditions during this weekend in Costa Rica.

Due to the effects of the tropical wave, the most intense rains of the weekend will be on Saturday, September 14. The rains will begin to appear from the early hours of the morning, mainly in the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

Source: Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) - (Costa Rica National Weather Institute)

Costa Rica Weather in the month of August 2022

Monthly Weather Characterization from IMN

Suscribe to Costa Rica weather Atom feed, monthly information included

 August is characterized as a transitional month that not only marks the beginning of the second part of the rainy season on the Pacific slope, but also the beginning of a relatively dry period in the lowlands of the Caribbean Region.

This change is generally registered from August 15 onwards, since conditions similar to those of July can still occur in the first fortnight, including a second "veranillo" in the Pacific zone, called "segunda canícula" (second heat wave).

This month also marks the beginning of the most active part of the Atlantic tropical cyclone season.

Source: Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) - (Costa Rica National Weather Institute)

Current Oceanic Influence (20 September 2023)

USA National Hurricane Center Official Advises

20 September 2023, 03:45 UTC
No Significant Climatic Disturbances
 The oceanic surroundings of Costa Rica remain with no significant climatic disturbances in this moment.

There are not significant climatic disturbances at this time.
Latest Satellite photograph of Central America (20 September 2023).
NOAA - National Weather Service

There are not significant climatic disturbances for Costa Rica.
Latest Satellite animation of Central America and oceanic surroundings (20 September 2023).
NOAA - National Weather Service

Sources: NASA / USA National Hurricane Center - NOAA / National Weather Service

Costa Rica Weather, General Description

 The seasons of Costa Rica climate are defined by the amount of rain that falls during a particular period of time. The year can be easily divided into two main periods or seasons, named by the local residents as "Verano", summer and "Invierno", winter. The "Verano" season is from December to April, and is the time of the year when there are more blue skies and few rains. The "Invierno" is the rainy period, from May to November, and during this time, in most locations, it rains constantly; with sunny mornings, sometimes cool, sometimes sweltering, and the rain coming during the first hours of afternoon.

The maximum rain quantity received is at the Northeastern lowlands, the Caribbean, near the Orosi Valley, Arenal and Monteverde areas, Talamanca Range, Osa Peninsula and Golfito (Southern Pacific) (annual rainfall of over 5,000 mm). Humidity is also higher on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific. The mean annual temperature on the coastal lowlands is around 80 °F (27 °C), 69 °F (21 °C) in the main populated areas of the Central Cordillera, and below 50 °F (10 °C) on the summits of the highest mountains. In the highest areas of Irazú Volcano (3,431 m) and Chirripó (3,810 m), temperatures sometimes can drop below 0 ºC during the end and beginning of the year.

The driest season of Costa Rica in most places is from December to April, while the rainy season is from May to November. On the Caribbean coast, however, December is by far the more wet month. The highlands areas are always cooler. The lowest elevation level in the country is the Pacific Ocean at sea level, the highest point is Cerro Chirripó, a somewhen glaciated mountain with an elevation of 3,810 m (part of Chirripó National Park). Even on a clear day, it is possible to see both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean from the top.

Weather related Books

This is a selection of recommended and suggested books for further reading and learning about weather and climate; which are available for look at their reader reviews and buying online if needed (* As a form to support this website, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites).

Notes & References:
- The standard air pressure at sea level in millibars is 1013.25 mba, which is the value of 1 atmosphere, or 1013.25 hPa in IS units (1 mba = 1 hPa).
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