San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Big waves

Big waves expected at Costa Rica's central Pacific beaches this weekend

Powerful waves and rip currents started hitting beaches in the Pacific province of Puntarenas on Friday and will continue throughout the weekend, the University of Costa Rica’s Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) reported.

Swells arriving Friday morning were generating waves up to 2 meters high (6.5 feet) by early afternoon, with strong breaks every 22 seconds at central Pacific and Gulf of Nicoya beaches.

Some of these waves are expected to get taller when they reach the beach and even overcome breakwaters at Caldera beach in Puntarenas, mainly between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., according to CIMAR forecasts.

CIMAR oceanographer Omar Lizano said swells come from the southern hemisphere and will continue generating waves with strong breaks throughout the weekend, mostly at Puntarenas and Caldera beaches.

Lizano warned beachgoers enjoying the last weekend of the mid-year vacations to remain alert to these conditions, as swells likely will generate strong rip currents.

“These conditions also can be dangerous for small boats at river mouths, estuaries and beaches,” he said.

Wave conditions are expected to return to normal starting Monday. However, CIMAR projections indicate that a new stronger swell likely will enter the country next Thursday.

This phenomenon would bring waves up to 2.4 meters (7.8 feet) high, with strong breaks every 21 seconds Lizano reported.

This week CIMAR released a new application for mobile phones and devices that offers updated information on Costa Rica’s sea conditions along both Caribbean and Pacific shores, as well as around Cocos Island.

 

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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