As Hurricane Irma makes its way through the Caribbean and Floridians ready for Irma’s potential landfall, how will it affect Costa Rica?

Although Hurricane Irma will not directly impact Costa Rica, experts say the Central and South Pacific regions will most likely be affected by an increase in rainfall and, at the moment, do not rule out that it may also have an influence in the Central Valley.

“If Hurricane Irma passes between Florida and Cuba with the intensity it currently has (a Category 5) will affect Costa Rica on Saturday and Sunday with rainfall of between 100 and 150 liters per square meter for up to 24 hours,” explained Diego Naranjo, meteorologist at the national weather service, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional de Costa Rica (IMN).

Naranjo explained that the indirect impact of the hurricane will depend on its behavior, so strict monitoring will be maintained.

Meanwhile, Omar Lizano, oceanographer at the Cimar, the Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology, expects a tidal surge – abnormal rises in sea levels, more than the natural tidal rise starting Friday, getting stronger by Sunday and large waves crashing against Pacific beaches.

Lizano said we can expect, starting on Sunday, on most Costa Rican coasts, wind bursts of between 30 and 40 kilometers per hour. “(…) Forecasts indicate that there will be a mixture of bottom swells and local waves, especially for Sunday and Monday,” said Lizano.

The expert added that in the Pacific the waves Could reach heights of up to 2.8 meters, condition that could vary depending on the acceleration of the wind, and is calling for bathers and small boats to take precautions, especially between 4 am and 6 am and the 5 pm and 7 pm, the hours of high tide.

“There is a precautionary condition (advisory) for small boats for Sunday along the entire Pacific Coast of Costa Rica and the Isla del Coco from Friday morning. The swells will start reducing starting on Tuesday,” said Lizano.

Flights to/from Costa Rica and Florida
Most definitely Hurricane Irma has already affected travel plans to and from Costa Rica and Florida destinations such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

A check on American Airlines website with multiple daily flights to/from Miami (MIA) has no flights listed until Thursday, September 14.

Screencapture of first available flight to Miami, Florida from Liberia, Costa Rica. Nothing from Friday to Wednesday.

Same at JetBlue and Spirit with regular daily flights to/from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO).