The presence of high-pressure systems in the Caribbean that maintain masses of cold air near the country will cause strong winds and lower temperatures throughout the week.
Daniel Poleo, of the national weather service, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN), reported that maximum gusts of between 60 and 70 kilometers per hour are forecast in mountainous areas and in the province of Guanacaste.
In the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) of San Jose, winds will hit highs of 60 km/h.
— IMN, Costa Rica (@IMNCR) January 7, 2019
“For the Central Valley, maximum winds are expected to reach 60 kilometers per hour. These conditions will be maintained at least until Thursday,” said the meteorologist.
The increase in the ‘vientos alisios’ (trade winds) began at the end of December and have caused emergencies in different areas of the country.
The most serious was the death of a 13-year-old teenager American tourist who was struck by a falling tree in the Varablanca, in the mountains of Heredia. The incident occurred on January 2, in the tourist complex La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The minor was airlifted to the Hospital Mexico where she died hours later.
Other incidents include fallen trees, demolished utility posts, downed power lines and even damaged billboards.
To prevent injury or damage from the strong winds, the IMN issued a series of recommendations for the entire population.
- If you are at home, check that there are no trees in poor condition, as they could be knocked down by the winds.
- Remove from high places flower pots, cages and any object that may fall and hurt someone.
- In public areas stay clear of signs, billboard and large trees. Avoid being near power lines, or buildings under construction.
- Avoid ‘quemas’ and ‘fogatas’ (controlled burns and bonfires) since strong gusts could cause the fire to get out of control.
- Finally, if you are in a car, motorcycle or bike, reduce your speed as much as possible, as a wind blow could make you lose control of the vehicle;
- For motorcyclists and cyclist, in case the situation becomes very dangerous – winds are too strong – park in a safe place until it is prudent to continue on your way.
Keep in mind that certain areas are prone to strong winds and wind gusts that others. In the greater San Jose area, the south side of Santa Ana, you can hear the winds howling. In Arenal, there is a reason ICE chose to the area to develop their wind farm.
Temperatures can easily dip to the low 20 Celsius in the day and mid teens at night, bundle up. Even lower at higher altitudes.
Lower temperatures are normal during the last week in December and first week in January, this year, like last, the winds make it feel even colder thanks to climate change.