Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why No Hurricanes in Costa Rica?

A large extratropical low-pressure system swir...Image via Wikipedia I remember Alma in May of 2008 I was in San Isidro with some clients and there were some 70 landslides on Cerro de la Muerte. Almost all tourist ask about natural disasters such as Earthquakes, Tsunami's, and Hurricanes. With the climate change of today I will answer the question for today but it might be completely different to what the future might hold.

It turns out that 88% of hurricanes develope between 30 degrees and 10 degrees of the Equator and from the point they develop it is mostly of to tradewinds to where they end up which almost always is north of Central AmericaCosta Rica is located at 9.55 degrees above the equator which happens to be the perfect spot to escape the path of hurricanes. Why?

Hurricanes need warm water around 80 degrees and humid air to develope so around the equator during fall months makes for the perfect time. Also a hurricane is made up of monstor winds. Well it turns out between 10 and 30 degrees of the equator is where you find the strongest Coriolis Forces. These Coriolis Forces do exist below 10 degrees of the equator but they are very weak. This means that at 9.55 degrees from the equator where Costa Rica is located it has very weak Coriolis Force (winds) to maintain a hurricane. Along with the tradewinds that move hurricanes north it looks as of now Costa Rica still has very low chances of getting slammed by a hurricane and as you can see it is right on the border because Nicaragua and Hondurous have both had their share of big hurricanes.

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