Heavy Rains Flood Costa Rica

Heavy Rains Flood Costa Rica
  • Credit:

    Image produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC) and caption by Steve Lang (SSAI/NASA GSFC).

A tropical easterly wave contributed to heavy rains and flooding over much of Costa Rica. The hardest hit areas were along the Caribbean coastline and the Caribbean slope, and the heaviest rains fell on the May 10, 2004. At least 2000 people were forced to leave their homes and one man drowned as a result of the flooding.

The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center monitors rainfall over the global tropics. MPA rainfall totals are shown for Central America for the period 6-11 May, 2004. The highest rainfall totals are on the order of 12 inches (darker reds) and occur over the Caribbean coastal areas of Costa Rica and just off shore of the northern coast of Panama. Heavy rains also fell over mountainous areas in Colombia (red areas on the lower right) during the period. The east-west oriented line of moderate (yellow) to heavy rain (red) out over the eastern Pacific is associated with the intertropical convergence zone or ITCZ where trade winds from the northern and southern hemisphere collide.

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    May 11, 2004
  • Visualization Date:

    May 13, 2004
  • Sensor(s):



NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration