A21B-05: Characterization of the Mid Summer Drought in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, Central America

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Authors: E. Alfaro1, 2

Author Institutions: 1. CIGEFI, University of Costa Rica, San Pedro, San Jose, Costa Rica. 2. School of Physics & CIMAR, University of Costa Rica, San Pedro, San Jose, Costa Rica.

The IAS region is characterized by climate features of unique nature, one of them is the Mid-Summer Drought (MSD) or “veranillo”, an atmospheric feature rarely observed in other tropical regions. On the Pacific slope of Central America, the precipitation annual cycle is characterized by two rainfall maxima in June and September-October, an extended dry season from November to May, and a secondary precipitation minima during July–August (MSD). Three daily gauge stations records, e.g. La Argentina, Fabio Baudrit and Juan Santamaria, located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica were studied to characterize the MSD from 1937 to 2010. Among the aspects considered are the MSD duration, intensity, timing and seasonal predictability. The modulation of these aspects by climate variability sources as Equatorial Eastern Pacific and Tropical North Atlantic was lately explored, including their interannual and decadal variability. The MSD signal strongly impact social and economic life in the region like energy and the agriculture sector. Additionally, the Central Valley of Costa Rica hosts most of the Costa Rican population with the higher level of exposure and vulnerability to hydro-meteorological hazards.

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