Costa Rica - Climate

Costa Rica has only two seasons: the wet season, from May to November, and the dry season, from December to April. There are three climatic zones. The torrid zone (tierra caliente), which includes the coastal and northern plains to an altitude of 457 m (1,500 ft), is characterized by heavy rains, almost continuous on the Atlantic watershed, and by a temperature range of 29–32° C (84–90° F ). The temperate zone, including the central valleys and plateaus, has altitudes ranging from 457 to 1,524 m (1,500 to 5,000 ft), with regular rains from April through November and a temperature range of 24 to 27° C (75–80° F ). The cold zone, comprising areas higher than 1,524 m (5,000 ft), has a temperature range of 10–27° C (50–81° F ) and is less rainy but more windy than the temperate regions. The average annual rainfall for the country is more than 250 cm (100 in).

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Nov 22, 2007 @ 7:19 pm
I've heard that Costa Rica has more than 3 climate zones, so I'm wondering if this is a generalization of what a person might find. I seem to remember someone telling me there were more than 7 climate zones. Is it possible that the 3 basic ones can be broken down futher depending where it is? For instance I've heard that there are areas that have more rain than others. I'm thinking of retiring in Costa Rica and would like to know what I can expect in different regions of the country
Michael Packer
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Nov 23, 2007 @ 8:20 pm
Yes, Costa Rica can be broken down into more climate zones, CZs, which depend on altitude (sea level to mountain, 10,000ft) and what side of the country your on (pacific or golf) where factors such as ocean current/temperature create different weather and climatic zones. I have read from authoritative sources that CR has up to 12 CZs. But from technical papers I've read, there is no consensus within the scientific community on what factors are used to develop a climate zone scale. Hence, there are different zone scales and their usefulness are precisely general and relative at best. The United State has been divided into as little as 3 to over a dozen zones. Relative to Costa Rica, there seems to be a consensus that that CR has more climate zones than the US. This bears out in the more diverse gradation of flora and fauna that CR has - main factors that are considered to develop CZ scales in the first place.
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Apr 12, 2011 @ 9:09 am
I have heard that their is a total of 27 differnt climate zones

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