The end is in sight, weather institute promises

The official word has come from the weather experts. The notification is what expats and would-be tourists have been awaiting.

The country has begun to enter the transitional phase between the rainy season and the dry, although that may not be obvious from the weather Tuesday.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that everywhere but in the south Pacific, the onset of the dry season is delayed this year from five to seven days at least.

The weather institute released a list of probable dates Tuesday for the start of the dry season. As usual, the northern Pacific benefits from the northerly winds that drive away the rains. The institute estimated that the dry season would arrive there between Nov. 11 and 19. The normal date is Nov. 4, the institute said. The transition period is generally the week before the onset of the dry season. The transition period is characterized by alternating days of rain and days without rain.

In the Central Valley, the dry season should have arrived by Thanksgiving. The weather institute said that the likely time this year would be Nov. 14 to Nov. 24, which happens to be U.S. Thanksgiving. The normal date is Nov. 9.

The central Pacific is about a month later. The institute said that the dry season would arrive there in time for Christmas. The experts estimated from Dec. 14 to Dec. 24. The normal date is Dec. 9, they said.

Because of its location, the southern Pacific always welcomes the dry season the latest and sees it leave the soonest. This year, the institute estimated from Dec. 20 to Dec. 29. That probably means an early arrival when compared to the average date of Dec. 29.

On the Caribbean coast, where the weather seasons are reversed, November means the arrival of more rain, pushed there by the northern cold fronts. The weather institute is predicting more rain there through February and warns of flooding and other rain-related problems.

On the Pacific and in the Central Valley, the dry season frequently contains several cold spells that are amplified by stronger winds.

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