A good reason exists why farmers and ranchers along the Pacific coast are struggling. Rain there from Jan. 1 through Wednesday was about 85 percent lower in Guanacaste than normal.
The situation was a little better further to the south with deficits of rain ranging from 45 percent in the central Pacific to 25 percent in the south Pacific, based on statistics from the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.
The situation was the reverse on the Caribbean coast where rainfall was about triple the annual average. The weather is expected to remain like this at least through August.
A representative of ranchers was at the legislature Tuesday urging rapid disbursement of promised aid. He said that cows were dying of thirst and lack of food in the canton of Santa Cruz in Guanacaste.
The culprit, of course, is El Niño in the far Pacific which causes such disruptions of normal climate.
The Central Valley also has been dry with an estimated 65 percent deficit of rainfall.
The weather for the rest of the year depends on the progress of El Niño.
The U.S. National Weather Service said that there is an approximately 90 percent chance that El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer and a greater than 80 percent chance it will last through 2015.
The weather service here also noted in a report released Wednesday that El Niño is intensifying.
The U.S. agency noted that there were weak to moderate El NIño conditions in early May and that sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific were above average.