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CATIE weather station recorded the highest rainfall in the last 79 years

  • 64.2 mm were recorded in 60 minutes, almost 1.06 liters of water per square meter per minute.

July 29, 2021. CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) weather station recorded a total rainfall of 435.6 mm per square meter on July 22, which is the equivalent of 116.16 gallons of water per square meter. This is the highest rainfall recorded by the Center since the beginning of its history in 1942.

The heavy rains caused by the recent storms have exceeded historical precipitation data. According to Daniel Fernández, an expert at the Center's meteorological station, in 36 hours the rains accumulated about 545 mm, that is, twice the normal rainfall for the whole month of July (285 mm), which represents a record in terms of accumulated precipitation in that period of time.

"This is the highest rainfall recorded by our station since the beginning of its history in 1942, that is to say, for 79 years. On July 22, 64.2 mm were recorded in 60 minutes alone, almost 1.06 liters of water per square meter per minute. This July was also one of the wettest months on record in recent years and the wettest July on record since 1942 with 780.2 mm per square meter. The rainfall recorded on July 23 was 124.6 mm, practically twice the estimated average rainfall for this month", explained Fernandez.

According to the data obtained, the hour of highest rainfall recorded on July 22 was at 6:00 p.m. with 53.8 mm.

Fernández pointed out that the CATIE station has one of the most important meteorological records in the country and the oldest in the canton of Turrialba, which allows them to know the repetitive climatic behaviors over time.

"For example, in the case of July, the meteorological history indicates that it is one of the rainiest months in Turrialba and that in previous years there has been very high rainfall during this period. The importance of this is that it allows us to make timely and anticipated decisions that at least reduce the impact of these climatic events", added Fernandez.

In view of the recent weather conditions, the station's experts recommend taking the necessary precautions due to the fact that soils are saturated and rivers still maintain a high flow. As far as possible, as long as the weather permits, work should be done to clean channels, culverts and any structure that allows the proper passage of water, in order to reduce stagnation and overflows.

Currently, CATIE has a first level meteorological station where 12 meteorological variables can be measured, such as: wind force, solar radiation, precipitation, relative humidity, temperature, among others. This new station was installed in October 2019 after the establishment of an agreement with the National Meteorological Institute of Costa Rica.


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