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Table of Contents:
Tropical Monsoon Climate
Dry Mesothermic Climate
Wet Tropical Climate
In order to understand why there are so many different types of climates in Ecuador, you need to consider the altitude of each area of the country. Climatic variations depends more on altitude than on the time of year. Further, as a result of Ecuador’s “center of the world” location, the typical four seasons are non-existent
In Ecuador, nine different climates can be identified: one dry, three tropical (wet, monsoon and savanna), three meso-thermic (wet, semi-wet and dry) and the “paramo” (alpine tundra). The ninth climate is that of the Galapagos Islands.
Besides altitude, the latitude, the topography and the ocean currents are also factors that help determine the climate in Ecuador. Two air currents cross Ecuador: a cold and dry current coming from both hemispheres which is mostly felt in the mountain region from May to October; and a warm and humid current coming from the tropical zones that can be felt from November to April.
These two currents cause only one rainy season on the Coast which intensifies in March. In the mountains, it causes the months from March to June to be rainy and from October to December to be another rainy season. In the Amazon, they cause only one rainy season that is uniformly rainy throughout the year. The topography of the Andes causes climactic changes in the mountain region; as you go higher, it gets colder by about -4.70 C for every thousand meters.
There are two opposing marine currents that influence the climate of Ecuador. From December to May, the warm current of El Niño coming from the north occurs in the Pacific ocean and for the rest of the year, the cold Humboldt current comes from the south. When one of these currents becomes stronger and persists longer than normal, there are variations in precipitation on the continent. If the El Niño current is stronger than the Humboldt current, the rains on the continent increase causing floods. If the Humboldt is stronger, the rains decrease causing drought.
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