Not surprisingly our team on the ground in Ecuador has been monitoring the effects of the current El Niño on the Galapagos Islands closely. So far this year the effects don’t seem to be as severe as first predicted, which is good news for both wildlife and visitors.
El Nino conditions result in a rise in sea temperatures, affecting the marine food chain – and resulting in more rain to the archipelago.
Luis from our Quito office recently sent us the report below.
Despite the predictions of a gargantuan El Niño phenomenon this year, conditions in the Eastern Pacific where the Galapagos Islands are located seem to be getting less and less serious as the season progresses.
Since December there has been a rapid drop in the sea temperatures throughout the Galapagos and the Pacific coast of Ecuador, from +2.5°C of what is normal at this time of year to just +1°C above normal conditions. Which means that although El Niño conditions remain, they are by no means, “gargantuan”.
As a matter of fact, it is not raining a lot in Galapagos either. Of course there are sporadic rains here and there and they are sometimes strong… but not a lot more than a regular rainy season in a regular year.
This is good news regarding the marine fauna.
Still meteorologists are cautious about what will happen next (they have been off the mark so far this year!) but, since the sea temperatures are declining and the southern summer is getting to an end, South Eastern trade winds should start blowing the warm waters away from Galapagos by May. So even if El Niño conditions return, it should be a short El Niño.