San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Big waves

Big waves, strong winds forecast for Pacific coast over the weekend

Two low-pressure systems originating in the Southern Hemisphere will cause powerful waves at most of Costa Rica’s Pacific beaches starting Friday.

A report from the University of Costa Rica’s Ocean Science and Limnology Research Center (CIMAR) states that the first system will bring waves of up to 6 feet every 18 seconds on Friday and Saturday.

The second system will create waves of up to 10 feet every 20 seconds on Sunday and Monday.

CIMAR’s Ocean Information Director Omar Lizano said that waves also will be affected by the influence of a full moon during high tide periods over the weekend.

“This will cause very strong breaks on the beaches, and some flooding on beachfront properties might occur,” Lizano added.

Large waves on Saturday and Sunday are expected to cause strong rip currents, and CIMAR warned beachgoers to take precautionary measures. The warning also applies to small boats in estuaries, river mouths and open beaches, mainly in Costa Rica’s northern and southern Pacific.

Sailing also could be affected, as winds up to 20 knots will blow over the northern Pacific, generating rough seas offshore for most of the weekend.

Waves caused by the second low-pressure system also will be breaking roughly at beaches in the northern Pacific and at Cocos Island. On Monday, waves up to 5.3 feet will continue at beaches in the central and southern Pacific regions.

Lizano warned coastal residents to be alert for strong wave breaks all weekend, especially from 8-11 a.m. and between 3-5 p.m.

Contact L. Arias at

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