New tropical wave not as bad as expected

The weather is looking up.

A tropical wave, a trough of low pressure, passed over the country without generating substantial rain.

At 8 p.m. the  Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the most rain, some 75 millimeters or about 3 inches, fell on Cerro Chitaría in the Central Valley.

Elsewhere in the country there was a scattering of rain with the largest amount being about 15 millimeters, a bit more than half an inch.

The prediction for today is for cloudy skies with thunderstorms on the Pacific coast and perhaps in the Central Valley. There might even be some rain in drought-stricken Guanacaste later today, the institute said.

The weather institute said in an evening report that rivers had returned to their banks.

Emergency officials were concerned about the latest tropical wave because previous ones have brought so much rain and damage. Plus the system looked fierce on weather radar in the late afternoon.

President  Luis Guillermo Solís visited a shelter in Sarapiquí Thursday and later visited shelters in  Pococí, Limón, Matina and Turrialba.

The number of individuals in shelters was reduced by half to about 827 Thursday, said the national emergency commission.

Most roads were reported open, and the biggest job now becomes evaluation of the damage from the third weather emergency in three weeks.

The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal  expressed concern for some 14,000 head of livestock in the northeaster part of the country where the rain and damage was the heaviest. Some efforts will be made to bring in feed.

The tropical waves are unique to the tropics although some have been known to pass over the southern part of the United States. They are believed to be the product of wind currents in Africa. These troughs of low pressure travel west and frequently circle the globe.

The wave that passed over the country late Thursday and early today ended up becoming a disturbance off the coast of Guatemala, said the U.S. Hurricane Center. The center said it expected the system to organize and become at least a tropical depression over the next few days.

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