More thunderstorms come from humidity and heat

More thunderstorms swept across the Central Valley at midday Tuesday bringing variable amounts of rain and charging the air with electricity.

There were a number of brief blackouts in the Central Valley, but the most rain was reported at Juan Santamaría airport with 10.1 millimeter (about four tenths of an inch). The eastern and western mountains continued to get a drenching. There was an automatic station report of 46.2 millimeters of rain, about 1.8 inches in the mountains east of Santa Ana.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional issued a warning at midmorning that thunderstorms were on the way. The storms were heavier than had been predicted earlier.

The weather institute said that similar conditions would prevail today: A lot of humidity coming in from the oceans with high temperatures favor the creation of storms mainly in the Central Valley and the Pacific coast. The forecast also says that there might be evening showers in the higher elevation of the Caribbean and the northern zone.

Readers reported 30 minutes of showers around Parque La Sabana Monday, a day when there was supposed to be just light rain. That shows that the showers are highly variable in quantity.

Expats who have been in Costa Rica for at least one rainy season know that the electrical storms can do heavy damage to electronics. That can take place when the rain is elsewhere as the damaging electrical surges travel over power lines and also cable television lines.

A single storm has been known to fry televisions, computers and even the electronic components of microwaves and other household appliances. Land-line telephones also are vulnerable.

Of course, the weather institute also warns about landslides and flooding, but that would require heavier downpours.

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