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Oceanographers forecast strong waves, rip tides along Costa Rica’s Pacific shores starting Thursday

March 25, 2015

Storms in the southern Pacific are expected to whip up Thursday, causing big waves that will last through Saturday, the University of Costa Rica’s Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) reported.

Waves will have very strong breaks along most of Costa Rica’s Pacific beaches and could generate rip currents and dangerous conditions for swimmers. Wave conditions also pose risks for small boats on beaches, and in estuaries and coastal lagoons, according to CIMAR and the National Emergency Commission.

Wave height could reach 2 to 2.5 meters (6.5 to 8 feet). The tallest, strongest waves are expected for Thursday and Friday at Costa Rica’s northern Pacific beaches. They should decrease by Sunday.

CIMAR experts warn beachgoers that the storm’s main effect will be extended intervals between waves, expected to last some 19 seconds on average. These long periods will cause strong breaks on beaches and rip tides, especially during high tides expected between 8 to 9 a.m. and 8 to 9 p.m.

“We have been recording strong wave breaks in Puerto Caldera, Puntarenas since last weekend and considering that our forecasts predict even stronger conditions next weekend, we can expect higher and more powerful waves with even stronger breaks,” CIMAR reports.

Oceanographers will issue an updated report next week.

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