New prediction pushes the dry season even later

The nation’s weather service now says that the increase in the strength of La Niña will prolong the shift from the rainy to dry season two to three weeks. The prediction is a change from the Nov. 1 summary when the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that everywhere but in the south Pacific, the onset of the dry season would be delayed this year from five to seven days at least.

The institute also said that the month of November would be more rainy than normal along the Pacific coast and in the Central Valley.

The effect of La Niña in the central Pacific was seen clearly in October, which was more rainy than normal all over the country, said the weather institute.

The new forecast noted the prolonged and intense wave of storms that hit the country from Oct. 9 to 22. In part, this was caused by Hurricane Rina. The system also was known as Tropical Depression 12-E.

Costa Rica still is recovering from that weather onslaught. In fact, the European Commission said Wednesday that it was allocating 61,733 euros to Costa Rica to help the Cruz Roja aid some 250 families, mainly in the provinces of Puntarenas and Guanacaste. More than 9,000 persons had to be evacuated because of flooding, the commission noted.

Much of the aid will go to providing personal care products, cleaning 500 water wells and providing cooking utensils, it said.

The new weather estimates are not news to Central Valley dwellers who have faced a week of rain alternating with dry periods.

The weather institute said the current phase of La Niña, a cooling in the Pacific, would become the most intense from December to February. La Niña conditions probably will last until May, it said.

The waters in the Caribbean have been warmer than normal lately, but this is about to change with the waters cooling slightly to levels a bit below normal from December to February, the weather institute said.

With November being more rainy than normal, the weather institute said that the appearance of a new wave of storms from the Pacific could not be discounted for this month.

The end of the transition period from rainy to dry will be delayed from two to three weeks longer than normal in Guanacaste, and the Central Valley.

That is supposed to be in the fourth and final week of this month, it said.

In the Central Pacific the end of the transition period will be pushed forward to about Christmas.

The southern Pacific will see the end of the transition period and the advent of the dry season in time for New Year’s, the institute estimated.

Other predictions are:

• more rain is expected along the Caribbean coast in the last half of November:

• Guanacaste and the Central Valley will see normal weather in December and January;

• the central and south Pacific will see more rain than normal during the same period;

• The Caribbean coast and the northern zone will be vulnerable to storms and perhaps flooding in both months;

• and thanks to northern winds and air from the Arctic, the temperature is expected to be colder and more windy than normal;

Because of its location, the southern Pacific always welcomes the dry season the latest and sees it leave the soonest.

This season the southern Pacific, the Caribbean and the northern zone are expected to see more rain for the next three months while conditions in the Central Valley and the northern and central Pacific are expected to be normal.

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