Covid-19 Update: My Vaccine Pass is required for eligible participants.
0800 423 262

El Nino Conditions

El Nino Conditions

by | Dec 6, 2015

Hi team,

The festive season is rapidly approaching and with this comes our busy time of year!

Our Team for the summer is coming together nicely with another new member to our team (Colin) all the way from Canada. Colin has been kayak guiding for several years all over Canada, from the great lakes on Ontario to the beautiful and isolated coast line of British Columbia.


This season is shaping up to be not only a busy one, and also a damp one! We have been experiencing some typical El Niño weather with plenty of precipitation. To give you a better understanding of what an El Niño I’ll do my best to give you a simple explanation:

The earth’s climate and weather patterns are majorly effected by ocean temperature and currents.

When we are experiencing an El Niño, this is caused by the warm water from around Central America being drawn West across the Pacific Ocean. Having all this warm water around begins to increase the air temperature which in turn begins to pick up a lot of water mass which evaporates from the ocean.

el nino

Here in New Zealand our typical weather pattern comes from the NW which means that the warm air which is now heavy with water vapour begins to get pushed down onto the Western Coast of New Zealand.

In Franz Josef we have a spectacular backdrop of the mighty Southern Alps. What these giant mountains also do to the weather, is cause the air to be pushed up and over the mountains.  As the warm and moist air is forced up, it begins to cool down.  As it cools the moisture particles begin to bind together and condense, forming clouds and eventually rain once the water particles get to heavy to be held up any longer.

This is why the West Coast gets a lot more rain than the East Coast.  During times of El nino, we get buffeted by strong, hot Nor’west winds which typically create a drought on our East Coast, as all of the moisture has been dropped on the West.


The good news is – El Nino weather patterns are GREAT for our Glaciers.  The Glaciers in the region have been loaded with snow this year, so long may that continue!

Here’s some fun rainy day pics from the last week:

2 1

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for next week!  We’re running some boat trips this week, and to keep up to date with all things from Franz Josef Tours click HERE