Nicaragua: Weather Overview
Bounded by Honduras on the North and Costa Rice on the South, Nicaragua features a tropical climate. With the immense Pacific Ocean on the coast of her western border and the mild Caribbean Sea to the east, Nicaragua is a welcoming and placid environment made up of many different topographical features such as lakes and volcanoes, rivers and mountains and sea and sun. Nicaragua can also be separated into three diverse geographical zones; the Atlantic Lowlands on the eastern coast, the Pacific Lowlands on the western coast and the central mountainous region. Similar to many other countries situated in Central America or in the Caribbean, Nicaragua experiences two distinct seasons; a dry season and a rainy season.
Seasonal variation throughout Nicaragua is very minimal and most temperature alterations take place with the difference in elevation. The âtierra calienteâ otherwise known as the hot land is obtained on the foothills and lowland regions from the direct height of sea level to around 750m in altitude. This area will feature average daytime climates of 30°C to 33°C whilst the nighttime temperatures will drop from 21°C to 24°C throughout the majority of the year. The âtierra templadaâ also known as the temperate land features characteristic climates in the central highland where altitudes vary from 750m to 1600m. At this point of the land temperatures during the day are relatively mild ranging from 24°C to 27°C and nights are cool seeing average climates of 15°C to 21°C. The âtierra friaâ, however, is known as the cold land where elevations reach 1600m or higher. The temperatures throughout the day in this region still hover at a mild 23°C as the night will commonly drop to 10°C.
Average precipitation levels are quite diverse throughout all of Nicaragua. The Atlantic lowlands are without a doubt the wettest region throughout of all Central America as the area obtains anywhere from 2500mm to 6500mm of rain per year. The western coast on the Pacific Lowlands still receive substantial amounts of rainfall but significantly less than that on the Atlantic side as the highlands in the centre of the country protect of the west from moist Caribbean trade winds that are present all year round. Average rainfall levels for the central highlands and mountainous ranges vary from 1000mm to 15000mm per year. Rainfall is also seasonal as a rainy season is featured from May through until October and the dry season starts in December and ends in April.
The Dry season will typically vary from year to year, and throughout this time rainfall is virtually non-existent. Precipitation during the dry season will average anywhere between 3mm to 10mm per month and because climates are still commonly very high, the entire country can at times feel very arid. Trees, plants and basically all plant life begin to dry out, yet in June and July once the rain starts falling frequently again, everything will start to grow again and the sickly plants and leafless trees turn green and begin to bloom again.
Throughout the months of the rainy season, the Atlantic lowlands are subject to torrential flooding, particularly along the upper and middle regions of all the major rivers. Where river barriers widen and river banks and natural levees are currently low on the coastal regions, waters will typically flood and spill over onto the floodplains until the whole lowlands area becomes a permanent sheet of water. Rainfall throughout this season averages anywhere from 100mm to 200mm over the whole country. Both Pacific and Atlantic coastal areas are subjective to disparaging tropical storms are hurricanes, especially from July through until October.
The severe winds and torrential flooding that come hand in hand with these storms will commonly cause substantial damage to property and occasionally lives. Hurricanes or profound rains throughout the interior of the country, where agriculture has destructed much of the natural environment and vegetation has also damaged a substantial amount of crop and caused soil erosion. In June of 1988 Nicaragua was struck by Hurricane Joan and hundreds of thousands of the countryâs residents were forced escape their homes from the storm that caused more than US$1 billion in damage, with the majority of it hitting the Caribbean coast.
The Pacific Lowlands
Running from the Gulf of Fonseca down to Costa Rica, the Pacific Lowlands consist of the strip of mountains, with more than 25 volcanic cones that tower over some of Central Americaâs most beautiful beaches. Taking pleasure in the best of the tropical climates this region of Nicaragua gives a very stable overall climate, and humidity levels are at their most pleasant.
The Central Region
This area consists of practically all mountains and ranges from over 3200ft beyond seas level. The central region typically experiences a longer rainy season from April until November but levels of precipitation obtained are lower to that in the Atlantic region.
The Atlantic Lowlands
The characteristic east coast of the remainder of the country is quite diverse. The overall climate is predominately tropically featuring high temperatures and very high relative humidity.