Colombia’s state meteorological agency has confirmed the country is likely to experience the “El Niño” climatic phenomenon, greatly affecting rain fall patterns throughout the year and causing high temperatures to rise until the beginning of 2015.

The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), responsible for analyzing Colombia’s weather patterns, stated that there is a 70% chance El Niño will bring an increased warm spell to the country in the latter half of 2014 until March 2015.

According to IDEAM’s General Director, Omar Franco Torres, local governments and institutions need to take into account the climatic variations brought on by the world-wide phenomenon and act accordingly.

“From now we must analyze and implement strategies to adapt to climate variability of this phenomenon,” he stated.

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This year, Colombia has experienced particularly bad droughts in the north and east of the country.

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El Niño is caused by the periodical rise of Pacific Ocean temperatures off the coast of South America. The weather phenomenon raises temperatures across the globe that can lead to temperature fluctuations, droughts, floods, and crop yields in number of countries.

MORE: Meteorologists warn of ‘El Niño’ weather phenomenon in 2014

IDEAM, an agency for Colombia’s Ministry of Environment, has been conducting workshops through the country to inform local governments in a bid to start early planning for the prevention of situations caused by El Niño.

“Inter-agency cooperation is fundamental for prevention due the occurrence of the phenomenon of ‘El Niño’, and contingency plans should be implemented from now to counter the reduced rainfall that may come with this weather phenomenon,” Franco added.

The phenomenon is predicted to begin between July and September and “mature” from December 2014 to March 2015.


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