High wind is the culprit as Ticos wrestle with cold

They call the place Cerro de la Muerte because oxcart drivers sometimes would die there from the cold. Now motorists breeze by the place, a high point on the Interamericana Sur.

But even 75 years ago, the temperature probably did not dip below freezing. Like Monday, it was the wind, and death came from exposure.

Early today high up on the Turrialba volcano at the automatic weather station there, the mercury was at 4.9 C. or 41 F. That’s still a few degrees above freezing.

Elsewhere temperatures were higher, although there probably is a Costa Rican mountain with a temperature of 3 or 2.5 C.

High up in Desamparados, the temperature at 1 a.m. was 12.1 C or about 54 F. In San José the temperature was a balmy 16.9 C. or about 52.5 F.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the cold front that has descended on the country also is bringing stiff winds. Thus the weather seems colder than the mercury said.

The weather institute said it had logged winds of from 50 to 60 kph, about 30 to 37 mph. It said that the mountains might see winds of 90 kph or about 56 mph.

It also predicted high winds and high seas as a result of the weather. By comparison, New Yorkers today are battling a blizzard that dumped two feet of snow on the northeast United States.

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