La Niña Phenomenon – The Galapagos Islands Fall Climate

Cooler than normal water temperatures

La Niña

La Niña, a name that originates from Spanish, meaning “the girl,” is a coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon that is the complement of El Niño. During the La Niña phenomenon, the sea surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean will be cooler than normal by anywhere from 3 – 5 °C.  La Niña is often, though not always, preceded by an El Niño.

La Niña

For the rest of this Fall and into December, the Galapagos weather in the Galapagos archipelago will be experiencing the “La Niña” phenomenon, causing water temperatures to drop a couple of degrees lower than usual. This should bring in an even larger variety of underwater life to the archipelago’s already abundant reserves. We expect to see more turtles, dolphins, larger fish and possibly even whale sharks (picture below) at the places we snorkel. Underwater life will also be more active. Unfortunately this means that Galapagos waters will be colder than normal through the fall and into December.  While we provide wetsuits for snorkeling in Galapagos, it also helps if you bring along synthetic long underwear like capelin to wear under your wetsuit as well as light synthetic cap and socks. Doing so will mean that you will be warmer when snorkeling and can extend the time you spend in the water prior to warming up in the hot tub aboard Evolution or Grace!

Snorkeling whale shark

Grab your snorkel and fins! Swim with a whale shark in the Galapagos.


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