From brief gusts to strong breezes to howling winds – it’s always windy during summer season in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Why is it so windy in Costa Rica this time of year? These high summer winds even have a name: Papagayo winds. NASA tells us that when it is freezing cold and snowing in North America, the cold air and high-pressure weather systems move south over the Gulf of Mexico. The cold air is drawn toward the warmer, moist atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, flowing from high pressure to lower pressure like a river flows downhill. Named after the Gulf of Papagayo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the winds then channel through a gap in the Central American Cordillera Mountains and shriek over Lake Nicaragua, blowing over the Gulf and far out into the Pacific Ocean. The good news is they provide a purpose. Papagayo winds carry nutrient-rich dust into the ocean, providing nourishment for diverse marine life ranging from algal blooms to marlin and sailfish. When the sun shines intensely and the wind blows in January, February and March, the clear blue Pacific Ocean beckons. It’s time for fun wind and water sports.