Alas, the rainy season has arrived as expected

The rainy season came in full force Thursday, and sections of the Caribbean and the northern zone are expected to get up to 17 centimeters or nearly 7 inches of rain over 24 hours, according to the national weather institute.

The weather institute issued its first warning of the season against slides and flooding Thursday night.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional issued the special alert at 7 p.m. Thursday. It noted that a low pressure area was influencing the national weather pattern and said that overnight and in the early morning rains of variable intensity were expected in the Caribbean and in the northern zone.

The low pressure area appears to have swept across the country from the Pacific to the Caribbean. There was rain in the Central Valley Thursday morning and afternoon.

The weather bulletin said that downfall of from 4 to 7 centimeters (1.6 to 2.75 inches) could be expected.

It said that rivers in Sixaola, Gatas, Sarapiquí and Guápiles were rising slowly.

The Central Valley and the north Pacific were expected to have light showers in the mountains.

The alert over flooding and slides covered Sarapiquí, Cinchona, Orosi and Peñas Blancas. the weather institute also noted the adverse impact of rain on the national highways and said there might be a reduction of visibility.

Later today thunderstorms are predicted in the central and southern Pacific.

Weather Underground Inc. which provides forecast for A.M. Costa Rica said there was about an 80 percent chance of precipitation today in San José.

Although clearing was predicted for Friday night, Saturday, Sunday and Monday have a 60 percent chance of rain.

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