San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Get out the umbrellas: Rainy season to start Friday, local meteorologists say

Rainy season, which in Costa Rica runs from May to November, is set to start on Friday, according to forecasts by the National Meteorological Institute (IMN). However, brief showers could fall over some areas of the Central Valley and the Pacific province of Puntarenas on Thursday evening, meteorologists said.

Meteorologist Daniel Poleo said the first rains of the season would occur in the western part of the Central Valley. Showers are then expected to move to the northern part of the country.

In recent days several communities in the provinces of San José, Cartago and Heredia have experienced water shortages, and the rain is a welcome sign for many residents.

A lack of rainfall caused the Public Services Company of Heredia (ESPH) to implement water rationing of up to 8 hours per day. The measure will continue until water reserves reach optimum levels, as was announced this week. The rationing affects some 25,000 people in that province.

According to the ESPH, water shortages during the dry season are the worst in the last 12 years.

In the capital, residents of the cantons of Alajuelita (south), Santa Ana and Escazú (southwest), and El Guarco in Cartago also were forced to ration water for several weeks. 

This year’s rainy season is expected to be stronger than last year’s, when an El Niño phenomenon caused lower rainfall levels than normal. Meteorologist Werner Stoltz said experts expect 10-15 percent more rainfall this season, mostly in the Pacific region. On the Caribbean coast, however, rainfall could be slightly less than normal.

Poleo said it would take at least a month after the start of the rainy season for water reservoirs to reach optimum levels.

Contact L. Arias at

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