Monthly Archives: January 2014

A weather year (más o menos) in El Cajón

We’ve now been living in Costa Rica for over a year. Come January 15, we’ll have been in our house in El Cajón for one full year. We’ve been keeping weather records since the first of February so we don’t quite have a full year. The chart below provides a summary of the last 11 months.

Month   Avg Hi (ºC)   Avg Low (ºC)   Rain (mm)

Feb          26.2           18.5                      .1
March     26.9           19.4                     .1
April        27.2           19.9                59.2
May         27.0           19.6              374.9
June        26.3            19.5              337.6
July          26.0           19.5              353.8
Aug         25.9            19.3              340.9
Sept        25.4            19.0              770.1
Oct          25.2           18.4            1066.0
Nov         26.8           17.6              328.6
Dec         26.4           16.9                12.8

Total   rainfall 3644.1 mm

That’s about 144 inches of rain over the year (rainfall in January was negligible). What was truly remarkable was the abrupt end of the rainy season. On November 10 winds from the east sprung up, humidity dropped about 30% from where it had been for the last couple of months (in the low 90% range), and that was it. The rainy season was over. Not that we didn’t continue to get the occasional shower. But the daily afternoon deluges were all of a sudden behind us.

The night time temperatures dropped a bit with the end of the rains. While days are sunny and warm (upper 70s – low 80s), nights have just a bit more chilly than before, getting down to maybe the low 60s. And it can be a bit windy. However, temperatures have remained remarkably consistent over the course of the year. The highest temperature we recorded was 31° (88° F) on March 10 and 11, and the lowest recorded temperature was 15° on March 3, in conjunction with a high wind event.

In Costa Rica it’s now what they refer to as verano (summer), even though the winter solstice just passed. We mentioned the solstice to our Tico friends, but they had a hard time understanding why gringos make such a fuss. They were startled to hear us describe the short days and long nights of a northern winter. Here, daylight hours vary only very little over the course of the year.

We’ve found the weather here to be pretty glorious. The rainy season can brings mists . . .

Mistand occasionally, for a few minutes, obscuring fog.

FogThe fog really was pink!

Sunsets are dramatic.

SunsetThis time of the year a constant of our vista is the endless stream of clouds just beyond the San Louis ridge to the north, drifting steadily from east to west, riding the trade winds.

Clouds on trade windsOn New Year’s day the big decision was whether to wear an Aloha shirt or a tee shirt.

New Year's DayCelebrating New Year’s day with friends in nearby San Isidro

In Costa Rica, there are really only two 2 seasons: epoca seca (dry season) and epoca lluviosa (rainy season), each unfolding with its own rhythms, beauty, and purpose. We were pleased to discover that we appreciated and enjoyed both.