Rain gives way to winds and a chill from the north

How Costa Ricans see the weather

The change from the rainy season to the high season comes at a price.

A chill swept into the Central Valley Thursday, and the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional is predicting up to 70 kph (43.5 mph) winds in Guanacaste today.

Strong winds are typical of the change of season, and frequently they are strong enough to deroof homes and down trees.

The increase in atmospheric pressure in Central America and the Caribbean has generated windy conditions, said the weather institute.

In a special midday bulletin, the weather service said that the cold wave that hit Thursday about noon is the first of the season. The strong winds carry cold air from the north, and that decreases the temperatures, the weather bulletin said.

Now although some Costa Ricans in the Central Valley are casting around for woolen hats and ski jackets, the chill at its worst is predicted to be in the high 50s today. Of course, that is unusual, and the wind enhances the chill.

The nation’s residential ice box is Cartago where the weather institute said that the high today would be about 19 C with a low of 15. That is 66 and 59 F.

In San José the temperature is expected to top out at 20 C (68 F) and drop to 16 C (61 F) in the evening.

There still will be swimwear weather at the beaches. The institute said that Limón would see a high of 27 C. (80.6 F) with a low of 20 C. (68 F). Golfito is expected to see a high of 31 C. (88 F) with a low of 22 C (71.6 F). Inland temperatures in Guanacaste are expected to be similar to that predicted for Liberia: 30 C (86 F) and a low of 21 C (70 F).

Sometimes during the colder dry season traces of snow fall in the mountains. Cerro de la Muerte is so named because oxcart drivers would die of hypothermia when sleeping with their cart and animals overnight.

Although the chill draws snickers from tourists from further north, the predicted low temperatures are cold enough to cause hypothermia with prolonged exposure. Many Costa Rican homes do not have adequate windows or doors to keep out the cold. Expats who drink alcohol are more vulnerable to hypothermia, as are the aged or infirm.

The weather institute warned of lesser winds through the country and emphasized that some gusts can affect aviation.

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