Rainy season expected to start a bit later this year

The rain in the capital Thursday settled the dust but it was not the start of the rainy season. In fact, the Instituto Meteorological Nacional says that the advent of the annual rains will be a bit later than normal this year.

The prediction is for warmer and dry weather on the Pacific coast to last through the middle of the year. The 2-year-old El Niño and drought conditions are expected to begin to give way to a wetter La Niña at that time.

The weather institute still is predicting less-than-average rainfall in the north Pacific and the northern zone with precipitation elsewhere in the normal range. Daytime temperatures about one or two degrees C above average also are predicted for the Central Valley and the Pacific coast. The Caribbean is expected to have normal temperatures, the institute said Thursday.

More normal rainfall is predicted for the central and north Pacific coast after August. The south Pacific coast may see rain up to 25 percent above normal, the weather institute predicted.

The signs are that this may be an unusual weather year. There already was an Atlantic hurricane, and that was in January. Alex was only one of four recorded hurricanes in that month.

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