Tuesday 29 November 2022

It snows in Costa Rica?

The surroundings of the Irazú volcano accumulated large amounts of hail

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29 November 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – As if it were snow, some areas surrounding the Irazú volcano reported an accumulation of ice in the form of hail in large quantities.

In photos on social networks, it appeared as snow, including in one photo, a snowman.

Image from Instagram Recorriendo Costa Rica

The national weather service, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional (IMN) confirmed the phenomenon.

Image from Instagram Recorriendo Costa Rica
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“This event occurred on Thursday in the surroundings of the volcano, due to a heavy downpour between 12 noon and 2 pm. Hail accumulated along the paths,” said meteorologist Juan Diego Naranjo.

Image from Instagram Recorriendo Costa Rica

According to Naranjo, hail is a fairly common natural phenomenon in Costa Rica during the rainy season and occurs when there are unstable conditions such as those that have occurred in recent days.

Image from Instagram Recorriendo Costa Rica

Because instability favors the formation of cumulonimbus clouds, which are responsible for thunderstorms, intense downpours, and gusts, “Hail forms when water droplets within the cloud reach the freezing point and become small balls of ice.

Image from Instagram Recorriendo Costa Rica

“With the wind currents and depending on their size, they manage to fall on the surface and even accumulate where the intense downpour is,” explained the expert.

Explanation from the IMN

With respect to Thursday, the IMN explained on its social networks: “It is also ruled out that it was snow because otherwise, the trees would look white in the photos, but it was not. Another more technical reason that it was not snow is that the temperatures were not freezing (less than 0°C), the lowest was 5.1°C and the highest was 12.6°C”.

With climate change, perhaps in a few years, we will have a ski resort in Irazú?

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