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Climate and Weather

Argentina - Climate and Weather

Argentina, which is in the southern hemisphere, has various climate regions. The seasons are reversed when compared with European or North American seasons. In the north, there is tropical climate; in Patagonia, weather is cold and windy; in Buenos Aires and Pampas, it is temperate; while in Tierra Del Fuego, temperatures are sub-polar. In addition, there is the cold, mountainous climate of the Andes, the snow and cold in the south and the arid climate in the central and northern parts.

Subtropical Climate

The northern part of Argentina experiences a subtropical climate, with intense heat during the summer and warm temperatures during the winter. Gran Chaco, which is in the western region, gets moderate rainfall of 500 to 1000mm yearly, with dry winters. Rivadavia, in the province of Salta, experiences intense heat from November to February, with highs of 34 to 36 degrees Celsius. During winter, temperatures drop to 25 degrees Celsius. Due to the climate coming from the southern lands, winters here can be quite cold, especially at night. The rains occur in brief showers during the summer. During winter, which lasts from May to August, there is no sign of rain.

In Formosa, temperatures during the day are lower, but the climate is rainy and humid, with about 1250mm of rain yearly. It may rain even during the winter here. In provinces such as Misiones, rains are more abundant, which is reflected in the forests which cover the area. Obera and Iguazu experiences rainfall of up to 2300mm and 2000mm yearly respectively. The eastern side of Argentina does not have a dry season.

Humid Temperate Climate

The area south of Gran Chaco experiences mild winters and hot summers with a temperate climate. Rain here ranges from 500 to 1200mm yearly. This region experiences moderate rain during summer, with drier winter in the west and lots of rain in the east. Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, experiences a Mediterranean climate. The average temperature in July is 11 degrees Celsius, with highs of about 15.

In Gran Chaco, the average temperature in January is 25 degrees Celsius, with highs of 30. The difference between this climate and that of Buenos Aires is that it rains during the summer. There is also nothing to block the cold air from the south, which means there can be frost at night.

Arid Climate

The western side of the Pampa and majority of the Patagonia experience an arid climate. This is due to the distance from the sea and the Andean chain, which blocks humid winds coming from the Pacific. The temperatures vary with the latitude, but the features of the climate are similar. Cold or hot wind may sweep through the plains, creating significant temperature differences between the day and night. The amount of sun in the summer is fair, while the coldest period, from May to September, is cloudy. Areas like Mendoza experience temperatures below freezing from April to September, which is Argentina’s winter.

Areas such as Ushuaia experience temperatures of 10.5 degrees Celsius during the summer. The night temperature may drop to below freezing all over the year, and go down to -2 degrees between December and March. From May to August, the temperature lowers to a very chilly -15 degrees. During the summer, there is frequent rain and snow during winter. The amount of rainfall is not that high during summer, but the sky is often cloudy.

Along the Andean strip, the climate is colder with increasing altitude. The further south you go, the lower the temperature is, and the lower the height the more the snow. The Andean zone is split into two: the northern side, which has an arid climate, and the southern, which is alpine and has abundant snowfalls. The northern and central provinces are desert, despite their high altitudes. There is no moisture that passes over the ridges. In the north, the frosts are intense between April to October. Temperatures are often low during the day even when the sun shines, which is unusual, since the sun is very strong at high altitudes. To find snowfields, you will have to climb peaks that are 6000 meters high, such as Nevado Queva.

When To Visit

These differing climates mean that there is no ideal time to visit Argentina. If your plan is to visit the extreme south, December to March is the best time to go. You can choose the same period to travel across the whole country, but bear in mind that the north will be extremely hot during this time. November is a good time to visit because it is springtime, although again it will extremely hot in the far north.

What To Bring

In the north areas such as Gran Chaco and Iguazu falls, winter occurs between June and August. You will need light clothes for the daytime and sweatshirt, sweaters or jackets for the evening. In Buenos Aires, carry warm clothes such as sweater and jackets during winter as well as an umbrella. In Tierra Del Fuego and Patagonia, you will need gloves, warm hats, warm clothes, a scarf, rain jackets and comfortable shoes. If you’re visiting the Andes, you will need clothes for autumn and spring during the day and a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and warm jacket during the evening. In the Southern part of Andes you will need warm clothes, scarf, down jacket, hiking boots, and gloves.

December to February is summer time in Gran Chaco and Iguazu Falls. Therefore, light clothing, sun hats, light sweaters and light raincoats for the thunderstorms are ideal. Northern and central Buenos Aires require summer clothes, light raincoat, and a sweatshirt for the evenings. In Patagonia you will need spring and autumn clothes, sweater and jacket for the evening as well as comfortable shoes. In Tierra Del Fuego warm clothes, jacket, raincoat, sweater, boots are ideal. However, on the mild days you may end up removing some layers. In the northern part of Andes, you will need clothes for autumn and spring during the day not forgetting sunscreen and glasses. In the evening a warm jacket will do. In the southern parts, a down jacket, hiking boots, gloves and scarf are necessary.

Read more about this country

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