What is the Monsoon and how does it affect the climate in Central America?

What is the Monsoon and how does it affect the climate in Central America?

The monsoon is a climatic phenomenon that occurs when there is a large-scale shift of air currents and humidity, which causes intense rain in the region where it is located. The phenomenon is already affecting Central America, where more than a dozen people have died as a result of heavy rainfall.

Although this phenomenon, also known as the monsoon gyre, is commonly associated with Asia, the Americas region also experiences it regularly.

“Monsoons are caused by a change in wind direction that occurs when the seasons change. In fact, even the word monsoon comes from the Arabic word mausimwhich means ‘season'”, Explain the National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, in English).

Winds change because land temperature and water temperature are different as the seasons change. Warm water in the ocean evaporates and rises into the air. The warm, humid air condenses and turns into rain.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the monsoon winds In Central America, they are transferring abundant moisture from the Pacific Ocean to the coastal terrain of southern Mexico, where the heaviest rains are expected on June 21.

“This can be life-threatening. Conditions include flooding and landslides. In addition, dangerous wave conditions will affect these coastal areas,” explained the HNC in a bulletin published on June 18.

In addition to this phenomenon, the region is preparing for the arrival of a tropical cyclone, according to the National Meteorological Service (SMN) of Mexico, which would bring “rains with electrical shocks, strong gusts of wind and hail, landslides and increases in rivers and streams, as well as overflows and floods” in at least 15 Mexican states.

Due to the intense heavy rains, the region is already reporting loss of life and havoc. So far, El Salvador is the most affected country with 11 people dead and about 1,900 sheltered.

Likewise, in Guatemala, about 5 people died and at least 7,000 are affected.

In Honduras, some 1,500 people were affected by the rains and hundreds of people in the Valle department, in southern Honduras, have been left incommunicado.

El Salvador maintains a red alert, Guatemala on an orange alert and Honduras on a yellow alert.

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