thunderstorms in Costa Rica

I lived in Costa Rica for 6 months during the rainy season and do not ever recall hearing thunder or seeing lightning. It just rained constantly. I don’t believe they actually ever have thunderstorms. I told this to a friend of mine and he thinks I’m crazy (and wrong) even though he’s never been there. Could someone please settle this debate. I really wanna prove I’m right!!

Well the forecast for Puerto Limon, Costa Rica for today is thunderstorms.

Sorry, after looking closer at the dates, that was yesterday’s forecast.

ok, thunderstorms…but do they have LIGHTNING AND THUNDER with those thunderstorms? I think that “thunderstorm” is a commonly used phrase, and could also refer to heavy rain without thunder or lightning. I’m serious, I was there for 6 months and didn’t hear ANYTHING remotely like thunder…except for the buses.

IANA meteorologist, but it looks like there are two kinds of thunderstorm. There’s an “air mass thunderstorm”.

And there’s a “multi-cellular thunderstorm”.

A multi-cellular thunderstorm is what you usually get in North America, caused by the clash of warm air and cold air. You get a line of thunderstorms all along the front.

An air mass thunderstorm is what you usually get in the tropics, i.e. Central America. They pop up nearly every afternoon and are not as severe as the other kind.

So, you’re right–there may not have been any thunder and lightning.

Hey Britta! Welcome to the SDMB!

Here’s a site about a NASA field lightning survey in the tropics:

OK, so it’s in Brazil, but hey, that’s pretty close :wink:

Here’s another NASA link showing lightning strikes in a single day:

'Fraid there’s lotsa lightning strikes in Costa Rica on this one.

Here are some photographs of lightning in Costa Rica:

I just went to google, entered “costa rica lightning” and got 5,600 hits. Sorry.

By the way, Carl and Sharham both independently stated that you were a) cute, and b) good at kicking ass. They suggest that you come on down to Florida and start taking the class. :slight_smile:


I’ve lived in Panama more than 10 years, and can confirm that downpours here are very rarely accompanied by thunder and lighting. I won’t say it never occurs, but it is certainly unusual. (Actually, I’m having a hard time recalling the last time I saw lightning or heard thunder here.) So you could easily have lived in Costa Rica for six months during the rainy season with ever having encountered thunder and lightning.

Thunderstorms are, by definition, a storm with thunder. And if there’s thunder, there’s lightning.

Brazil is as far from Costa Rica as Jacksonville, Fla. is from Chicago, Il. I don’t think anyone thinks they have similar weather.

Point taken, but I stick by my other links.

Just to be argumentative: I realize that Brazil is a damn big place with many different climes, but I’m sure there are places in Brazil a similar distance from the equator as Costa Rica which are covered with rain forest. It seems reasonable that the weather in two such locales should be similar. Just because Kansas is 10,000 miles from central Asia doesn’t mean they don’t have similar weather patterns. Then again, I’m neither a geographer nor a meteorologist, so what the hell do I know? :slight_smile: