Strong gusts, big waves to continue over the weekend

December 26, 2014

The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) on Friday reported that a high-pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean is to blame for increased trade winds that are expected to continue through Monday.

Several regions in Costa Rica this week experienced strong winds with gusts of up to 80 kilometers per hour, mainly in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) and the northwestern province of Guanacaste.

Gusts exceededing 100 km/h also were ongoing in mountainous areas of the GAM on Thursday and Friday. That intensity is expected to continue over the weekend with gusts of up to 90 km/h predicted in the same areas.

Windy conditions starting Thursday caused light showers in the northern zone, some sectors of the Caribbean province of Limón, and some mountainous communities of the Central Valley.

The IMN has advised air traffic to take the windy conditions into consideration, and they urged small boat owners to watch out for large waves in coastal areas.

A report this week from the University of Costa Rica’s Ocean Science and Limnology Research Center (CIMAR) supported the IMN forecasts, stating that wave heights could average 10 feet in Limón throughout the weekend and until Wednesday.

Waves of up to 10 feet, at intervals of 15 seconds, also will hit several beaches in the northern Pacific starting Saturday and lasting until Monday.

CIMAR experts urge beachgoers and coastal residents in the Pacific to be cautious, as conditions will favor rip currents.

Wind speeds are expected to gradually diminish starting Monday, as the high pressure system will begin moving away from the region, the IMN stated.

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