Rainy Season Goes Out with a Bang

November 12, 2004

A cold front that descended overCosta Rica Sunday drenched most of thecountry in downpours, flooded areas onthe Caribbean coast, provoked strongwinds of 40-50 kilometers per hour andmade people bundle up in sweaters andscarves in the Central Valley.Temperatures hovered around 20° C(68° F) Sunday and Monday in theCentral Valley, where they are normally26-27° C (78.8-80.6° F). Limón registered23° C (73.4° F) where it is normally28-29° C (82.4-84.2° F), according to theNational Meteorological Institute.The National Emergency Commission(CNE) issued a yellow (mid-level) alertfor flood danger in the Caribbean portcity Limón as well as in severalCaribbean slope towns including the bordertown Sixaola, and a green (low-level)alert in the Northern Zone. Emergencyofficials helped evacuate more than 2,000people from Caribbean towns, about1,200 of whom stayed in 20 emergencyshelters and the rest with relatives.A total of 405 millimeters of rain fellon the Caribbean slope over three days,82 mm Sunday, 204 mm Monday, and119 mm Tuesday, according to meteorologistWerner Stolz. In San José and theCentral Valley, about 40 mm fell in thatperiod, most on Sunday, Stolz said.Waterways in the Caribbean swelledand flooded their banks; including theSixaola, Colorado and Revantazón rivers.The communities of Imperio were cut offfrom the main roads by flooding, and aflooded river swept away the train tracksnear Betania, the Emergency Commissionreported.In the Central Valley, San José, especiallythe suburb Desamparados, andHeredia, north of the capital, also experiencedflooding.Rain became scarcer Wednesday, andyesterday saw clear blue skies with scatteredclouds and warmer temperatures.The cold and wet weather of thebeginning of this week may be the grandfinale of the wet season, according toStolz.Most regions of the country are nowin a transition phase into drier weather,which will arrive soon to the CentralValley and north Pacific zone, and later inthe other Pacific zones, he said.Rains should taper off in Guanacaste,in the northern Pacific, by this weekend,and in the Central Valley next week, Stolzsaid. In the central and southern Pacific,the dry season should commence by theend of December.The Caribbean, which does not experiencethe same weather patterns as therest of the country, will enter a rainierseason.The meteorologist said this has beenan average rainy season, and there wereno reports of water deficiencies from theagricultural sector.

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