Changing season brings a dose of refreshing rain

In a well- publicized effort against street vendors, police and other agencies descended on the center of the city Tuesday. The only thing missing were street vendors.

The first rains of the year are refreshing. The afternoon downpour washes away the trash and accumulations of the previous four months.

Plants seem to open their leaves and branches to receive the life-giving moisture.

Of course, by November, most Costa Rican residents will be totally sick of rain and will be awaiting the advent of the dry season.

This is the annual replay of the grass being greener.

Much of the country had a taste of the rainy season Tuesday. More of the same is predicted for today.

In the Central Valley that means hot and humid morning hours with temperatures perhaps up to 27 C. (a bit more than 80 F.). That condition only gives strength to the clouds that bring rain.

The lightning bracketed the valley Tuesday, mainly striking in the northern and southern mountains. Stray jolts of electricity warned users of computers and other electronic devices that they need to take precautions quickly to protect them.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional issued an advisory at 9:30 a.m. that the storms were on their
way. Much of northern Guanacaste appears to have been spared heavy rains. Santa Cruz had none, according to the automatic station there. But the station at Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia reported 65 millimeters (2.6 inches) after 7 a.m.

On the Caribbean coast and the northern zone, the conditions were reverting to what is normal during the rainy season. That area of the country generally is much drier then. That was the case Tuesday when there was just a trace in Manzanillo and at reporting stations in the northern zone.

The storms in the Central Valley swept in earlier than normal around noon. San José got 29.2 millimeters (1.14 inches), according to the automatic station at the weather institute’s headquarters in Barrio Aranjuez.

Rains, of course, were heavier in the mountains.

The weather institute warned of local flooding due to blocked storm sewers as four months of trash are swept from the streets and gutters. It also warned of slippery streets and small landslides due to rain.

The change in the weather can generate danger and the weather institute restated its warning about lightning and why humans should not be in the open air during a thunderstorm. Expat golfers routinely ignore this warning.

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