The University of Costa Rica’s Marine Sciences Research Center (CIMAR) reported Friday that high tides could cause flooding in communities along the Pacific coast starting Tuesday.
The rise in tides is expected due to effects of a full moon, the proximity of Earth to the sun and, to a lesser extent, the increase in sea level caused by an El Niño weather phenomenon, according to CIMAR.
Oceanographers forecast that tide levels likely will exceed 3 meters (10 feet) starting Tuesday and will reach their maximum height at 3:31 a.m. on Thursday.
High tides, on average, will be 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) lower than those recorded at the end of September, when high tides flooded several communities in Puntarenas province.
Tides next week are expected to generate big, powerful waves up to 2 meters (6.6 feet). These waves could cause similar flooding in coastal areas, “especially along open beaches in Puntarenas and Guanacaste such as Jacó, Hermosa, Panamá, Junquillal and Cuajiniquil,” CIMAR stated.
Flooding in downtown Puntarenas could be similar to that experienced last month, however this time it would be caused primarily by overflow of the adjacent estuary. Floods are not expected to affect the Paseo de los Turistas.
CIMAR’s forecast states that flooding is most likely to occur in the early mornings and evenings and that the effects could be heightened by rains expected next week.