Tropical Storm Pilar is expected to maintain its indirect influence over Costa Rica until Wednesday afternoon, according to forecasts from the National Meteorological Institute (IMN).
Pilar is currently located approximately 425 km west of Costa Rica’s Papagayo Gulf in the Pacific Ocean near the coast of El Salvador. Maximum sustained winds have reached 96 km/h, and the storm continues traveling west toward El Salvador at 6 km/h, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Experts predict Pilar will gradually drift away from Central America starting Wednesday afternoon. However, its interaction with the Intertropical Convergence Zone is causing unstable weather patterns resulting in moderate to heavy rainfall across Costa Rica since early morning.
Regions along the Pacific coast and Central Valley have experienced the highest rainfall accumulations over the past 12 hours, including major downpours in Parrita, Coronado and Quepos.
Cloudy skies and intermittent showers of varying intensities are forecast through Wednesday morning. In the afternoon, scattered showers are expected along the Pacific and Caribbean coastal areas, with potential isolated thunderstorms. The Central Valley and Northern Zone will continue seeing moderate rainfall.
Strong winds up to 70 km/h are anticipated in the country’s North Pacific region, while mountainous zones may endure gusts around 60 km/h.
Meteorologists advise extra precautions in the North Pacific, Central Pacific, and mountainous areas of the Central Valley and Northern Zone due to heightened risks of flooding and landslides. Saturated soil conditions from prior storms increase these dangers.
Meanwhile, experts are also monitoring a new low-pressure system that formed in the Caribbean Sea which has potential to strengthen into a tropical cyclone. The National Hurricane Center currently places 20% odds of development over the next 48 hours, increasing to 50% likelihood over the next week.
The disorganized mass of thunderstorms and showers near the central Caribbean could evolve into a tropical depression while moving across the southwestern Caribbean later this week.
Regardless of whether it attains tropical storm status, the system may dump heavy rainfall across parts of Central America including Nicaragua and Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast along its projected track.
Costa Ricans should remain alert for any flood advisories as rains from Pilar continue through Wednesday. Loose debris, rising rivers, and landslide risks pose hazards during this active storm period.
Stay up-to-date with the latest forecasts from IMN meteorologists over the coming days both for Pilar’s remnants and the potential new Caribbean system. Together we can safely weather these late-season storms.