Heavy Rains Cause Havoc as El Niño Gains Strength

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    The El Niño developing across the Pacific strengthened further, warming the entire region between Australia and the Americas. Sea-surface temperature data for the central and eastern tropical Pacific show more than 1 degree Celsius above average for the sixth week in a row. Predictive models show the central Pacific will probably continue to warm over the coming months.

    According to an updated forecast released on June 11th, by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) El Nino has an 85 percent chance of lasting through winter 2015-2016, and a greater than 90 percent chance of El Nino lasting through the fall.

    El Nino is a little understood periodic anomaly that warms the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean every 2-7 years, this region of ocean warms for six to 18 months. In March 2015, there were warnings of a “double El Niño” event for this year.

    The declaration that El Niño is likely to last through winter is important for the entire Pacific region from Chile to the North Pacific Canada, due to the unusually wide swath of ocean under El Nino’s influence in 2015.

    In Costa Rica El Niño has already brought heavy rains to the country over the week end in the Caribbean and Northern regions, the down pours caused evacuations of 458 people due to flooding the National Emergency Commission (CNE) reported Monday evening.

    According to the Ministry of Transport (MOPT), the rising water level has damaged number of roads and bridges, including the bridge over Rio Blanco on the Ruta 32, the road to Puerto Limón. The bridge will be closed up to three days for repair, forcing a closure road during this period.

    Travel Alert warnings with potential landslides are still in effect in many areas.

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