Why do storms flood Costa
Rica from more than one thousand miles away?
Good question, thank you
Hurricanes are centers of
really low pressure that draw air to fill them from a long way away.
The bigger the storm the further away it sucks up air. Irene was
so big it sucked air all the way from Costa Rica's Pacific to feed
it. When Pacific air hit the high mountains and volcanoes of Costa
Rica on its way to Irene, the air had to rise and thus give up its
moisture. Since Irene was hungry, the air was moving fast and we got
big lightening and thunder. After the air went over the mountains,
less it's rain, the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica basked in a fresh
offshore breeze and fantastic weather, as it usually does during
The worst of the storms
seemed to occur yesterday when Irene passed above the window between
Hispanola and Cuba, giving clear ocean from Irene to Costa Rica. As usual for hurricanes to the northeast, the heaviest rains seemed to fall next to steep southwest facing slopes and mountians. As
soon as we got Cuba between us and Irene the rains seemed to let off.
Today is already returning to normal, prevailing northeastern breezes, as Irene moves too far
away to draw air from here, and the built up rain falls. Normally
hurricanes are not strong enough to draw air from Costa Rica if they
are outside the western Caribbean or Central America. The fact Irene
did shows she was already at that point, a storm of exceptional