Skip down to today’s detailed weather and forecasts for each region of Costa Rica. Click or tap a symbol on the weather map for rainfall, clouds, wind, temperature and humidity. More stations will appear if you zoom in on a region.
General Costa Rica Weather Trends
The first four months of 2017 were predictably dry but the rainy season has arrived with a bang in May 2017. Most models predict the onset of a mild El Niño by mid 2017 but the precipitation patterns in May have been exactly the opposite of what is expected – El Niño normally dries out Costa Rica’s mountains and Pacific side.
By the end of May 2017 many central and low lying Pacific regions were under flood and mudslide watches as waves of low pressure systems moved in from the Caribbean bringing heavy rainfall.
The effects of La Niña are predicted by NOAA to increase through 2016 into 2017 and possibly continue to impact rainfall through 2018.
Looking back at recent weather history in May through August 2016 a La Niña ocean temperature pattern dried out the Caribbean and slightly increased rainfall totals on the Pacific side and in the mountains. Costa Rica’s rainy season ended right on schedule at the end of December 2016.
Current Costa Rica Weather Maps and Predictions
The data for the weather map (and in fact all online weather maps and forecasts for Costa Rica) is pulled from a network of automated remote sensing weather stations.
If something seems a bit weird it probably is. When looking at the raw data feed I can see that some stations sometimes only update every 24 hours instead of hourly and sometimes they get stuck on the same value for a week or more. If you’re sitting in Alajuela looking out the window and it’s sunny but the map shows rain this is probably why.
One more note about the current weather map. Several people have pointed out the there is a station way up by the Nicaraguan border named San Jose and asked us to fix this mistake. It’s not a mistake, the station is located in the tiny community of San Jose de Upala.
Costa Rica Weather Forecasts
The weather forecasts below are for the three general climate regions – The mountains and central valley (San Jose), Guancaste and the Nicoya Peninsula, and Limon and the Caribbean side. Longer range weather patterns are available on the pages showing typical conditions for any month of the year in Costa Rica.
We’ve also created nifty maps that show historical rainfall, high and low temperatures and average local hours of sunshine data by month for every region. These resources are helpful in planning the best time to visit Costa Rica.
If you’re really interested in the weather in Costa Rica we’ve worked out some instructions for creating your own weather forecast (often better than the automated ones) and a detailed graphical description of how the climate in Costa Rica is affected by global heating, wind and ocean currents.