The last few days have been of maximum tension in the Colombian Caribbean due to the passage of two hurricanes: first Eta, category 4; and, later, Iota, category 5, the maximum for this type of event. Both left great devastation throughout the archipelago of San Andrés y Providencia.
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To the above is added the alert issued, on November 18, by the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Ideam) and according to which, in the coming days, a new storm of great proportions could appear near the La Guajira peninsula.
This, according to Ideam, due to the formation of a new tropical wave – the phenomenon considered the ‘genesis’ of hurricanes – in Venezuelan waters and which could continue its course towards the Colombian Caribbean.
“It is a tropical wave that has been developing in recent days. It went from a development probability of 20 percent to 40 percent. However, we have the good news that in the last hours its probability dropped to 30 percent, “said Yolanda González, Ideam director.
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Notwithstanding the foregoing, different experts consulted by this newspaper assured that, although due to its location on the Caribbean, La Guajira is prone to the impact of tropical waves and tropical storms (the step prior to the formation of a hurricane), this is unlikely to happen in the next few days.
“Tropical cyclones represent a threat to our Caribbean coast, especially the northern part, as well as to the San Andrés and Providencia archipelago. That is why Colombia is part of the hurricane committee of the Regional Association of the World Meteorological Organization for the Caribbean”, Says the meteorologist Cristian Euscátegui.
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According to the expert, the tropical waves are born very close to Africa, and it is normal for them to travel throughout the Atlantic Ocean, from east to west, until reaching America, being processes that increase rainfall for a few days when they enter the national territory.
This is not by chance, but it responds to a very hot year, in which, month after month, temperature records have been broken throughout the planet
“Just in the last few hours a tropical wave has transited, which was on November 18 in the west and center of the Caribbean region with no probability of becoming a tropical cyclone,” Euscátegui indicates.
According to him, the transit of tropical waves this year has been very marked, due, in large part, to to a very warm ocean and to environmental conditions that favor its development and activity.
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For his part, Mauro Maza, doctor in Marine Sciences and associate professor at the Technological University of Bolívar, adds that, according to the records, this year is already the season with the highest number of meteorological events in the Caribbean, with a total of 31 between tropical waves, storms and hurricanes in the Caribbean.
“This situation may have a direct relationship with the increase in sea temperature, which acts as the ‘fuel’ for these events. This is not by chance, but it responds to a very hot year, in which, month after month, temperature records have been broken across the planet”Says Maza, adding that this is a very clear manifestation of where global warming is going.
Maza points out that recent studies on the relationship between climate change and hurricanes have found not only that they will increase in frequency, but that they will begin to be more and more intense.
“Tropical storms are getting stronger, and higher category hurricanes will be more common”, dice.