The International Research Center for the El Niño Phenomenon (CIFEN), based in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, warned of a “significant strengthening” of the phenomenon this Wednesday.
Ciifen revealed in a press release that ocean and atmospheric conditions in recent weeks “continue their evolution and convergence indicating a significant strengthening of El Niño.”
For this reason, given the current maturity stage of the phenomenon, it “could evolve faster than expected”, even warning that “the probability of this phenomenon reaching a strong category”.
“There is a possibility that the ripening stage will be brought forward by the end of November,” which coincides with the rainy season in many South American regions, leading to a significant increase in rainfall levels, Siffen director pointed out. Yolanda González.
According to him, the evolution could be similar to the period between 1972 and 1973, when it was intense, or the year 1997-1998, when it was classified as strong.
Ciifen found a higher temperature on the sea surface with values of 2.6 degrees Celsius above normal, as well as wind anomalies from the west, which led to the combination of these conditions, thus strengthening the phenomenon.
For this reason, the Center recommended that South American countries bordering the Pacific “take necessary measures in the areas of health, environment, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, food and nutrition security, water resources, transportation, infrastructure and tourism.”
“Communities are advised to consult risk management plans in their areas,” follow information from weather services, avoid wildfires and “take necessary measures to counter excessive sunlight and high humidity,” Siffen added.
The El Niño phenomenon consists of an unusual warming of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, which is concentrated in the equatorial region near South America due to the lack of trade winds, resulting in heavy rainfall in coastal areas.
This event, which appears every 3 or 8 years with variable intensity, mainly floods and inundates the northern coast of Ecuador and Peru, although its effects have reached global dimensions, with droughts in the interior of South America, Australia and Southeast Asia, among other effects.