While the Colombian “winter” is set to finish at the end of July, Colombia’s meteorological institute predicts that the rains that have drenched the Andean nation over the past few months will last until December.
The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) said that the rainfall during the dry season will be higher than normal, due to the La Niña phenomenon, reports El Tiempo.
IDEAM said that rains will intensify in August and persist until September, when they will cease for a short dry period before starting again in October, when the institute says a second winter season will begin.
The La Niña phenomenon typically brings more rain to the region and is formed by tropical waves along the African coast, which move from east to west along the equatorial belt, according to IDEAM.
“These waves pass very slowly, not as fast as they did before, and this has allowed the cloud to remain over Colombia for longer, bringing more rain,” a meteorologist at IDEAM told El Tiempo.
Extreme weather has killed 59 people in Colombia since the start of the rainy season on March 6.
The departments most affected are Atlantico, Magdalena, Valle del Cauca and Nariño, with 120,000 people suffering from the weather, while Bogota and Cundinamarca recorded about 12,000, according to Interior Minister Fabio Valencia.
Valencia said that the government has allocated COP15 billion ($7.8 million) to deal with the harsh weather, which has destroyed 357 homes.
In Colombia, increased rainfall between March and August causes temperatures to drop, leading locals to refer to the period as winter.