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Weather models show increasing intensification of El Niño through October

Almost all weather models agree that the coming El Niño will one of the strongest on record, and could be the strongest since statistics have been kept.

The areas in red indicated area of elevated water temperture.
The areas in red indicate elevated water temperature.

According to Rodney Martinez, director of the International Center for Research on El Niño (CIIFEN), it is critically important that people living in the coastal areas of Ecuador be prepared for a very strong event.

“They need to know what is coming and the impact it could have,” he said. “At this stage of its development, it is strong and getting stronger and poses a very dangerous threat.”

According to CIIFEN, temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific could rise an additional two degrees Celsius in October, making it stronger than the devastating 1997-1998 El Niño that caused widespread devastation on the coasts of Ecuador and Peru. CIIFEN said it will be considerably stronger that the El Niños of 1972-1973 and 1982-1983, which also caused extensive damage.

Martinez says his concern is the large increase of construction on the coast since the 1997-1998 El Niño. “We estimate that the number of structures has almost double since then and we are afraid many of them are in danger areas for landslides and erosion,” he said. He added that hundreds of structures were destroyed in the last El Niño.

Risk management officials in coastal provinces have been meeting for months developing evacuation plans and other emergency responses. A primary concern is the destruction of roads and the isolation of communities. During the 1997-1998 El Niño, some communities were without road access for months. “We learned a lot from that event” Martinez said. “That knowledge is helping in the planning process.”

During his Saturday national radio and television broadcast, President Rafael Correa reminded the country of the dangers of El Niño. “All our concern is focused on Cotopaxi,” he said. “We cannot forget, however, that we have another natural disaster looming in the Pacific Ocean.”

Weather forecasters say that the first effects of the El Niño are already being felt in Ecuador. Much of the coast has recorded above-average rainfall for this time of year and the mountain region is seeing more cloud-cover than usual.

According to CIIFEN, the worst of the El Niño will be felt from November through February 2016.

 

5 thoughts on “Weather models show increasing intensification of El Niño through October

  1. I just re-checked with Hector Quintana and he insists he knows more about this than all the scientists in the world, put together. He says we may get a few sprinkles from this event, but nothing more.

    Now, for perspective, Hector is also the guy that says Cotopaxi isn’t a danger at all and that all the geophysicists are wrong and there is more danger of earthquakes in the Sierra than along the coast. I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to have a friend as knowledgeable as Hector.

    Remember, Hector sells real estate on the coast and he’s got some great bargains right now as there seems to be waning interest in his inventory.

    1. Finding just a sliver of time, from one of my global real estate road trips, what my dear friend, Ken, fails to mention is that coastal Ecuador is just one locale we do business in, so there is no need for us, ever, to overhype a region. Others, however…do. Let me be clear…I am not a volcano expert, nor an El Niño expert. Let me be equally clear that neither is my friend, Ken. What I do know is that Cotopaxi had an über violent eruption…700 years ago. Anything can happen. We can revisit 700 years ago. We might have a much milder eruption. We might have nothing…and…slowly…over time…the grumpy Cotopaxi may just grow dormant again. I preach prudence, tempered with a healthy skepticism as to “chicken little” prognostications. For El Niño…simply…ditto. We had almost the same hype in the last 2 years, complete with “professional weather pattern forecasts”. This is all available with a simple Google search. Nothing happened then. Doesn’t mean nothing will happen this year…but it doesn’t assure anything of happening either. With El Niño…worse…areas that were hit hard in the previous major El Niño event (I was in country, Ken wasn’t) are assured of being the same areas hit hard this time…if there is a “this time”. Same vice-versa. El Niño’s are highly unpredictable, even as true professionals, unlike Ken or I, try to predict them. It’s all really that simple folks. Exercise prudence and caution…but, as of yet…the sky is not falling.

    2. Oh…and…my friend, Kenneth…this is from someone that ha slived through almost all the El Niños in his lifetime. Unlike me…who was only here fo rthe horrid one…and, respectfully, you, who to the best of my knowledge has NEVER been here for one…here is what Ecuadorian ruy has to say, in…er…his own words:

      Nicholas Crowder

      2 hrs

      FYI – El NINO – Here is one person’s take on El Nino from Ecuador Coast:

      Ruy Quevedo
      3 hrs

      EL NINO

      All of us Ecuadorians and long-time residents of Ecuador have faced an El Nino phenomenon at least once, or more times in our lifetime, and guess what we are still alive! I hear opinions and warnings as if it was the Armageddon approaching. I have personally lived through many El Nino episodes in my 55 years, most of them living in Ecuador. The only El Nino that I missed was the one in 1982-83, since I was living in the US. I was here during the last one in 1997-98.

      Some important points to consider while evaluating the El Nino scenario vs other past episodes, and the current consequences of the phenomenon:

      • Ecuador has a MUCH better infrastructure in every aspect to be able to withstand such a natural phenomenon. Roads, bridges, communications, supply chains, public services, etc. are far better that ever before.
      • All the especially problematic parts of the highway from Guayaquil were corrected after the 1997-98 El Nino, so getting in and out of Salinas should not be a problem. Salinas also has a new airport in the worst case scenario.
      • Shortages, power outs or emergencies in general, were never of the magnitude for example, that New Orleans suffered during Katrina. Nobody starved to death or was isolated in the way that happened in the areas nearby New Orleans.
      • Food is readily available, with eventual small shortages of certain food stuffs. Having a small supply of stored food and bottled water is a good idea, although in reality I never had any extra food stored. I guess we are used to El Nino and we know that it is business as usual.
      • Ecuador will be affected depending on the strength of El Nino, it has been in the past when we had a very frail infrastructure, and it recovered readily. With the current infrastructure, the recovery time from whatever effect El Nino might cause, should be quick.
      • After El Nino all the aquifers are refilled, the agricultural areas naturally fertilized with nutrient laden silt from the floods, river beds cleaned and the run-off deposits rich nutrients in estuaries and the ocean ecosystems. Production of agricultural food stuffs and sea food are VERY abundant after El Nino.

      SALINAS during El Nino:

      • AMAZING SUMMER WEATHER! GREAT SURF! LOTS OF FUN, SUN AND SUMMER PLAY!
      • TYPICAL DAY: SUMMER DOWN POUR, THEN BLAZING HOT SUN, TROPICAL DOWN POUR, BLAZING HOT SUN AGAIN, GORGEOUS SUNSETS!
      • Malecon San Lorenzo, surf during high Spring tides (Full Moon and New Moon) will break INSIDE the Malecon street. Sand is deposited along the street and water runs off and drains into the second street.
      • SECOND STREET behind San Lorenzo. This is definitely the area within Salinas that is most affected. Like most coastal areas in Ecuador, there used to be a Coastal Flood Lagoon along the shore where the second street is located, especially in the area going from the ARTS & CRAFTS STREET ALL THE WAY TO COMISARIATO JR. IN SECOND STREET BEHID THE MALECON. In that area sometimes in between the rain and runoff from the surf surging into the Malecon, it can get up to a meter or more (3 feet or more) of putrid water, contaminated with overflow of fecal matter and heavily decomposing organic matter and other pollutants. I have seen small boats and inflatable rafts being used in that area, since motor vehicles could not enter it because of the flooding.
      • Probably Salinas will be receiving more tourism during El Nino because of the difficulty of going to other destinations like Montanita and Olon.

      That is pretty much the scenario that you may expect to encounter during El Nino.

  2. I just re-checked with Hector Quintana and he insists he knows more about this than all the scientists in the world, put together. He says we may get a few sprinkles from this event, but nothing more.

    Now, for perspective, Hector is also the guy that says Cotopaxi isn’t a danger at all and that all the geophysicists are wrong and there is more danger of earthquakes in the Sierra than along the coast. I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to have a friend as knowledgeable as Hector.

    Remember, Hector sells real estate on the coast and he’s got some great bargains right now as there seems to be waning interest in his inventory.

    1. Finding just a sliver of time, from one of my global real estate road trips, what my dear friend, Ken, fails to mention is that coastal Ecuador is just one locale we do business in, so there is no need for us, ever, to overhype a region. Others, however…do. Let me be clear…I am not a volcano expert, nor an El Niño expert. Let me be equally clear that neither is my friend, Ken. What I do know is that Cotopaxi had an über violent eruption…700 years ago. Anything can happen. We can revisit 700 years ago. We might have a much milder eruption. We might have nothing…and…slowly…over time…the grumpy Cotopaxi may just grow dormant again. I preach prudence, tempered with a healthy skepticism as to “chicken little” prognostications. For El Niño…simply…ditto. We had almost the same hype in the last 2 years, complete with “professional weather pattern forecasts”. This is all available with a simple Google search. Nothing happened then. Doesn’t mean nothing will happen this year…but it doesn’t assure anything of happening either. With El Niño…worse…areas that were hit hard in the previous major El Niño event (I was in country, Ken wasn’t) are assured of being the same areas hit hard this time…if there is a “this time”. Same vice-versa. El Niño’s are highly unpredictable, even as true professionals, unlike Ken or I, try to predict them. It’s all really that simple folks. Exercise prudence and caution…but, as of yet…the sky is not falling.

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