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Rainfall in Costa Rica

Rainfall in Costa Rica

When you see a picture of Costa Rica, you see this sunny day at the beach portrait. We do have that as well as heavy rains and everything in between. 


Costa Rica only has two seasons: Dry season (like summer) that goes from December to May and Rainy season (like winter) that goes from May to November. On the Caribbean side of the country, most of the year it’s rainy season.


Fun fact: The Coldest temperatures in the year are reached in dry season.


Costa Rica’s weather can be tricky because you can have a couple rainy days in Dry Season and the other way around in Rainy Season. 


We recommend you to be prepared for any climate change if you’re in this beautiful tropical country.

Topography causes such fluctuation in weather as a result of  having mountains, valleys and plains in a pretty small territory and that affects plants, animals and also microclimates. 


Now, even if you might have, literally, “Rain On Your Parade”. Costa Rica’s weather is stable because it doesn’t have severe variations in the temperature. Duration of the day can be influenced by equinoxes and solstices.


If you’re coming to visit Costa Rica, from December to February you will find the best weather for exploring but it is more expensive since it’s the high season, just as June and July. If you want to save some money on plane tickets and lodging, your best option is to come at the beginning of the Rainy Season.


Other things to keep in mind are El Niño and La Niña phenomena. El Niño phenomenon occurs every 2-7 years and causes an unusual rise in the Pacific Ocean water temperature. It changes weather conditions from the United States to Argentina. La Niña phenomenon on the other hand causes unusual  droughts.


Hurricane season might get some places really dry like Guanacaste and other regions located near rivers very flooded. The Wind is very useful and that’s why in some areas we have wind plants. 


The country’s anual weather promedy rates from 22°C (71°F) to 27°C (81°F)


Folklore regarding weather in Costa Rica.


While being in Costa Rica you might find out that ticos are huge believers in urban stories. This leads to some traditions in specific months surrounding weather conditions. Here’s a list of some of them:


January: Las Pintas. From the 1st to the 12th, each day represents the weather for every month of the year.

February: Las Cabañuelas. By the second half of February there is some rain even though it’s the dry season.

March: Los Aguaceros de los Cafetaleros. Sudden rains during the second half of March, also in the middle of  dry season. Great for coffee production, hence the name.

April: Lluvias Locas. Rains that occur during changing seasons between dry and rainy.

June: El Veranillo de San Juan. Close to the end of June, as it is supposed to be the rainy season, there are droughts. 

July and August: Las Canículas. Dry days in the middle of the rainy season. First one is in the last week of July and the second one is in the first week of August. 

September and October. El Cordonazo de San Francisco. More saints names, we know. This phenomenon is when we have thunderstorms. It mostly happens in the first week of October. 

December: Las lágrimas de María. Rains that happen near Christmas. Transition from rainy to dry season. 


So, there we have it. If you’re coming to Costa Rica, remember to use sunblock but also carry an umbrella because there’s no telling what climate you will face.


Karen Ebanks

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