There are two opposing marine currents that influence the climate of Ecuador’s Andes and coast. From December to May, the warm current of El Niño coming from the north occurs in the Pacific Ocean and for the rest of the year, the cold Humboldt current comes from the south. When one of these currents becomes stronger and persists longer than normal, there are variations in precipitation in the western half of Ecuador. If the El Niño current is stronger and lasts longer than the Humboldt Current, the rains on the continent increase. If the Humboldt is stronger the rains decrease. This fascinating effect can be felt as far away as the western USA influencing our winter snowpack.