San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

“Little Summer” Reaches its End

EVERY year at about this time, theskies clear, the winds pick up and acountry that is two months into the rainyseason, considered winter, has a sudden,sunny respite. It’s the veranillo, the littlesummer, and it usually lasts about twoweeks.Unfortunately, this year, it mayalready be over. After a few days of warmweather, the veranillo has reached its end,according to Luis Fernando Alvarado,meteorologist with the National MeteorologicalInstitute.“The veranillos this year are going tobe very weak and short. It’s likely it willend Tuesday, and Thursday the rains willbegin,” he told The Tico Times earlier thisweek.However, he added, “It could be aninterrupted veranillo that returns nextweek, but for no more than four days.”So far, this year is 10% rainier thanthe average of other years at this time, andAlvarado said he expects more tropicalcyclones and hurricanes during thiscyclone season, which began June 1 andends Nov. 30.The rainy seasons will becomerainier and cyclones more numerous overthe next two or three decades as theAtlantic Ocean warms up, Alvarado said.For reasons not well understood, theAtlantic, including the Caribbean Seaand the Gulf of Mexico, is ten years intoa warming cycle that should last 20 or 30more years, he said. Every 30 or 40 yearsit warms, then cools about 1° Celsius(1.8° Fahrenheit).Another veranillo is expectedsometime in the first two weeks ofAugust, Alvarado said, but from thenuntil the end of November, he expectscontinuous rain.The Caribbean coast, generally consideredto be on a different weathercycle, is experiencing a dry spell now,Alvarado added. It is enveloped in adrought of sorts, but nothing to causealarm. The region received so much rainin the beginning of the year that itsground water supplies are still at acceptablelevels, he said.

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