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Climate of Argentina

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Climate of Argentina

Climate zones within Argentina[1] The legends below are based on the English version of the source.[2]
  Subtropical with no dry season
  Subtropical with dry season
  Temperate and humid Pampean climate
  Temperate and semiarid Pampean climate
  Temperate Pampean climate with oceanic influences
  Temperate highland climate
  Arid climate outside of the Puna and Patagonia regions
  Patagonian cold arid
  Arid climate in Puna
  Cold and humid

The climate of Argentina encompasses a wide variety of climate types owing to its vast extent (extends from latitude 22oS to 55oS) and its altitudinal diversity. Consequentially, there are a wide variety of biomes present. Northern parts of the country are characterized by very hot, humid summers (which result in a lot of swamp lands) with mild drier winters, and is subject to periodic droughts during the winter season. Central Argentina has hot summers with tornadoes and thunderstorms (in western Argentina producing some of the world's largest hail), and cool winters. The southern regions have warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall, especially in mountainous zones. Many regions have different and/or contrasting microclimates. High elevations at all latitudes experience cooler conditions. Argentina has four seasons present: winter (June–August), spring (September–November), summer (December–February) and autumn (March–May).

The hottest and coldest Rivadavia, Salta, Salta Province on December 11, 1905.[3] The lowest temperature recorded was −32.8 °C (−27.0 °F) at Sarmiento, Chubut on June 1, 1907.[3]

The sudestada usually moderates cold temperatures but brings very heavy rains, rough seas, and coastal flooding. It is most common in late autumn and winter along the coasts of central Argentina and in the Río de la Plata estuary.

Contents

  • Seasons 1
    • Winter 1.1
    • Spring 1.2
    • Summer 1.3
    • Autumn 1.4
  • Regional climate 2
    • Mesopotamia 2.1
    • Chaco 2.2
    • Northwest 2.3
    • Cuyo 2.4
    • Pampas 2.5
    • Patagonia 2.6
  • Statistics 3
    • Temperature 3.1
    • Precipitation 3.2
  • Extremes 4
    • High 4.1
    • Low 4.2
    • Precipitation 4.3
  • Natural disasters 5
    • Floods 5.1
    • Droughts and dust storms 5.2
    • Tornados and severe storms 5.3
    • Snow storms and cold waves 5.4
  • Climate change 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
    • Notes 8.1
  • Books 9
  • External links 10

Seasons

Winter

Tierra del Fuego during winter

In winter (June–August), temperatures in the central and northern parts of the country are mild and warm respectively while it is cold in the southern parts of the country with frequent frost and snow.[4] The southern parts of the country are influenced by the ocean, resulting in cold weather that is less intense and prolonged than at comparable latitudes in the northern hemisphere.[4] The north has the warmest temperatures with an average of 14 °C (57.2 °F) while in the center parts of the country, the average temperature is 10 °C (50.0 °F).[5] In the extreme south, the moderating influence of the ocean results in a mean temperature of less than 4 °C (39.2 °F) while at higher altitudes in the Andes, average winter temperatures can be less than 0 °C (32.0 °F).[5] June and July temperatures tend to be similar to each other while August temperatures tend to be higher than June and July by about 2 °C (3.60 °F).[5]

Precipitation varies widely during the winter months. Northern parts of the country, particularly in the extreme northern part of the Littoral region and northwestern parts of Patagonia receive the most precipitation during the winter months, with mean winter precipitation exceeding 250 mm (9.8 in).[5] In much of the Humid Pampas, the average precipitation is between 75 to 200 mm (3.0 to 7.9 in) while in the north in areas bordering the Andes, it averages less than 10 mm (0.39 in).[5]

Spring

Jacarandas in bloom at Plaza Miserere, Buenos Aires

Spring (September–November) is similar to fall with mild temperatures during the day and cool nights. During mid-October a large variety of wild and urban flora fully blossom. Temperatures range from 20 °C (68.0 °F) in the north to 14 °C (57.2 °F) in the center to 8 to 14 °C (46.4 to 57.2 °F) in much of Patagonia.[6] Tierra del Fuego and the higher altitudes of the Andes have the coolest springs with mean temperatures below 8 °C (46.4 °F).[6] As Spring progresses, the temperatures become more warmer.[6]

Precipitation during spring varies with the highest mean spring precipitation being located in northern Buenos Aires province and the Littoral region where the average precipitation exceeds 250 mm (9.8 in).[6] Arid regions (Arid Diagonal) have the lowest spring precipitation with an average precipitation of less than 50 mm (2.0 in).[6]

Summer

Thunderstorm in Córdoba province during summer

In summer (December–February), temperatures are more diverse, with an average of 26 °C (78.8 °F) in the north to a mean of 20 °C (68.0 °F) in the center of the country except for the southeastern parts of Buenos Aires province where temperatures are cooler in the summer, owing to the maritime influence.[2][7] In the extreme south, the temperature averages 12 °C (53.6 °F) while at very high altitudes, the average can be less than 10 °C (50.0 °F).[7]

Mean precipitation during the summer months are diverse throughout the country. During the summer months, the eastern parts of Salta province, Jujuy province, northern Tucumán Province and all of Misiones province are the wettest locations in the summer months.[7] These locations can receive more than 400 mm (16 in) of precipitation during the season.[8] In much of the Littoral region and most of Buenos Aires province, mean summer precipitation ranges between 200 to 300 mm (7.9 to 11.8 in).[7] The Patagonia region is dry in the summer, with much lower precipitation values than the rest of the country; summer precipitation average less than 50 mm (2.0 in) and can occasionally be less than 25 mm (0.98 in).[7][8] By month, Patagonia receives between 10 to 25 mm (0.39 to 0.98 in) of precipitation each month.[8] In the central and north, January is usually the wettest month with an average monthly precipitation exceeding 100 mm (3.9 in) in most places although some places can exceed 200 mm (7.9 in).[8]

Autumn

Autumn in Bariloche

Autumn (March–May) is generally mild. Some forests and vineyards can bring along the autumn foliage, with its red and orange leaves, especially in mid-April. During this season, the arrival of frost becomes noticeably earlier in the south and later in the north. Mean temperatures can exceed 22 °C (71.6 °F) in the northern parts of the country to 16 °C (60.8 °F) in much of the central parts of the country to less than 6 °C (42.8 °F) at the higher altitudes.[9] As autumn progresses, mean temperatures fall in all regions with March being warmer than May.[10] In the north, mean temperatures range from 24 °C (75.2 °F) in March to 18 °C (64.4 °F) in May. In the central parts of the country, mean temperatures in March are between 18 to 22 °C (64.4 to 71.6 °F) which drop to 10 to 14 °C (50.0 to 57.2 °F) in May.[10] Tierra del Fuego, in the extreme south has mean temperatures below 10 °C (50.0 °F).[10]

Precipitation is the highest in northeast Argentina while it is the lowest in the Patagonia and Cuyo regions.[9] In northeast Argentina, mean precipitation can exceed 400 mm (16 in) while in most of Buenos Aires Province and northwest Argentina, mean autumn precipitation ranges between 200 to 500 mm (7.9 to 19.7 in).[9][10] In much of the western parts of northwest Argentina, Patagonia (except for western Patagonia where precipitation is higher, averaging 100 to 200 mm (3.9 to 7.9 in)) and Cuyo regions, precipitation can average less than 50 mm (2.0 in).[9] In the northwest, precipitation decreases as autumn progresses, which signals the beginning of the dry season.[10] For example, in Tucuman province, March averages more than 200 mm (7.9 in) of precipitation while in May, it averages less than 50 mm (2.0 in).[10] In contrast, precipitation increases in Patagonia, particularly in the western parts where May precipitation can exceed 100 mm (3.9 in).[10]

Regional climate

Argentina possesses a wide variety of climatic regions ranging from subtropical with hot weather in the north to subantarctic in the far south with the Pampas featuring a mild and humid climate.[11][12] As such, there are a wide variety of biomes in the country, which includes subtropical rain forests, semi-arid and arid regions, temperate plains in the Pampas and cold Subantarctic in the south.[13] Despite the diversity of biomes present owing to its climatic diversity, about two thirds of Argentina is arid or semi-arid.[13][14] In general, Argentina has 4 main climate types: warm, moderate, arid, and cold in which the extension of the country along with its relief features determines the different varieties in the main climate types.[2] Mean annual temperatures range from 5 °C (41.0 °F) in the far south to 25 °C (77.0 °F) in the north.[12] The nation's climate is also influenced by the Andes mountain chain along its western border and maritime influences from the sea owing to the narrowness of the South American continent.[15] The climatic patterns roughly follow the geographic regional divisions.

Mesopotamia

Iguazú Falls from the Argentine side

Mesopotamia has a subtropical climate with no dry season.[2] Under the Köppen climate classification, it has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa).[16] The main features of the climate are high temperatures and abundant rainfall throughout the year.[2][17] Rainfall is abundant year round since much of this region lies north of the subtropical high pressure belt, even in winter, meaning that it is exposed to moist easterly winds from the Atlantic ocean throughout the year.[15] With the exception of Misiones Province which receives abundant precipitation year round, precipitation is slightly higher in the summer than in the winter and generally decreases from east to west and from north to south.[17][18][19]:32 With abundant precipitation throughout the year, water deficiencies and extended periods of droughts are uncommon and much of the region has a positive water balance (more precipitation than evapotranspiration).[16][19]:85 Average annual precipitation ranges from less than 1,000 mm (39 in) in the southern parts to approximately 1,800 mm (71 in) in the eastern parts of Misiones province.[16][19]:30 Summers (December–February) are one of the most humid seasons with an average precipitation of 350 mm (14 in) although it can range from a low of 300 mm (12 in) to a high of 450 mm (18 in).[19]:37 Most of the rainfall during summers falls in the form produced by convective thunderstorms.[19]:38 Fall (March–May) is one of the rainiest seasons with many places receiving over 350 mm (14 in).[19]:38 This can vary from a high of 480 mm (19 in) in Misiones province to less than 180 mm (7.1 in).[19]:39 Similar to summer, precipitation falls mainly in the form of convective thunderstorms.[19]:39 Winter (June–August) is the driest season with a mean precipitation of only 110 mm (4.3 in).[19]:39 Mean winter precipitation ranges from less than 40 mm (1.6 in) in the west to over 340 mm (13 in) in the east.[19]:39 Unlike summer and spring where precipitation mainly falls from convective thunderstorms, most of the precipitation during winter comes from frontal systems,[19]:40 particularly the Sudestada which often bring long periods of precipitation, cloudiness, cooler temperatures and strong winds.[18][20][21][22] Spring (September–November) is similar to fall with a mean precipitation of 340 mm (13 in).[19]:40

Summers are very hot and humid while winters are mild to warm.[15][16][18] As a whole, the region has high temperatures throughout the year.[2] Northern parts are more warmer than the southern parts.[18] In Misiones province, mean annual temperatures range between 18.3 °C (64.9 °F) in Bernardo de Irigoyen to 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) in Posadas.[23] The lower mean annual temperature recorded in Bernardo de Irigoyen, despite being located further north than Posadas is due to its higher altitude, resulting in a cooler climate.[23] In Corrientes Province, mean annual temperatures range from 19.7 °C (67.5 °F) in Curuzú Cuatía in the south to 22.2 °C (72.0 °F).[20] The southern parts of Corrientes province have cooler temperatures and have a climate more similar to Entre Ríos Province where mean annual temperatures in that province range from 17 °C (62.6 °F) in the south to 20 °C (68.0 °F) in the north.[21] During heat waves, temperatures can exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F) in the summer months while in the winter months, cold air masses from the south can push temperatures below freezing causing frost.[20][21][23] However, such cold fronts tend to be brief and are less intense than areas further south or at higher altitudes.[20][21][23] Snowfall is extremely rare and mainly confined to the uplands of Misiones province where the last significant snowfall occurred in 1975 in Bernado de Irigoyen.[23][24]

Chaco

The Dry Chaco, in the western parts of the region is characterized by shrubs and low to medium forest cover due to lower precipitation.[13][16]
Marshes located in Río Pilcomayo National Park are one of the natural features typical in the eastern parts of the region, owing to the higher precipitation.[13][16]

The sparsely populated Chaco, in the center-north, has a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters.[18][25] Under the Köppen climate classification, western parts have a semi-arid climate (Bs)[16] while in the east, it has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa).[26][27]:486 It is one of the few natural regions in the world located between tropical and temperate latitudes that is not a desert.[27]:486 Precipitation and temperature are relatively homogeneous throughout the region.[27]:486 The general atmospheric circulation influences the climate of the region, primarily by the two permanent high pressure systems (South Pacific High and South Atlantic high) and a low pressure system that develops over northeast Argentina called the "Chaco Low".[26] During summer, the South Atlantic high moves southward, while the Chaco Low strengthens, generating a pressure gradient that brings moist easterly winds to the region, favouring precipitation, mostly in the form of convective thunderstorms.[15][28][26][29][30] During the entire year, the South Pacific high influences the climate by producing cold, moist air masses originating from Patagonia,[31] which can penetrate the region owing to the influence of the Andes, leading to cold temperatures and frost, particularly in winter.[32] Summers tend to feature more stable weather than winter, since the South Atlantic and South Pacific highs are at their southernmost positions, making the entrance of cold fronts more difficult.[16][32] In contrast, cold fronts are common during winter, leading to highly variable weather.[16][32]

Mean annual precipitation ranges from 1,200 mm (47 in) in the eastern parts of Formosa Province to a low of 450 to 500 mm (18 to 20 in) in the driest areas to the west and southwest.[16][19]:30 Most of the precipitation is concentrated in the summer, in which summer rainfall decreases from east to west.[16][18] Rainfall during the summer can be intense and torrential rain is common, occasionally leading to floods and soil erosion.[26][33] During the winter months, precipitation is sparse.[16][18] Eastern areas receive more precipitation than western areas since they are more influenced by moist air from the Atlantic ocean which penetrates the eastern areas more than the west, bringing in more precipitation.[16] As a result, the vegetation differs with eastern areas being covered by forests, savannas, marshes and subtropical wet forest while western areas being dominated by medium and low forests of mesophytic and xerophytic trees, dense understory of shrubs and grasses.[13] The western part has a pronounced dry winter season, while the eastern parts have a slight drier season.[33] In all parts of the region, precipitation is highly variable from year to year.[31] The eastern part of the region receives just enough precipitation to have a positive water balance (more precipitation than evapotranspiration).[26] In contrast, the western parts of the region have a negative water balance (more evapotranspiration than precipitation) owing to lower precipitation levels.[19]:85

The Chaco region is the hottest in Argentina, with a mean annual temperature of 23 °C (73.4 °F).[16] With mean summer temperatures reaching 28 °C (82.4 °F), the region has the hottest summers in the country.[16][19]:63 Summers are marked by extreme high temperatures, with average high temperatures reaching up to 36 °C (96.8 °F) and low temperatures around 20 °C (68.0 °F) in January.[16][19]:65 Winters are mild and brief, with highs around 20 °C (68.0 °F) (usually below 24 °C (75.2 °F)) and lows around 10 °C (50.0 °F) (can range from 4 to 11 °C (39.2 to 51.8 °F)) in the coldest month, July.[16][19]:63 Mean temperatures in July range from 16 °C (60.8 °F) in the northern parts to 14 °C (57.2 °F) in the southernmost parts.[34]:1 Absolute maximum temperatures can reach up to 49 °C (120.2 °F) while during cold waves, temperatures can fall to −6 °C (21.2 °F).[16] Eastern areas have a stronger maritime influence than western areas, leading to a smaller thermal amplitude.[26] This results in absolute maximum and minimum temperatures being 43 °C (109.4 °F) and −2.5 °C (27.5 °F) in the east compared to more than 47 °C (116.6 °F) and −7.2 °C (19.0 °F) in the west.[33] Most areas in the region experience frost every winter. In the eastern parts of the region, it is one of the areas that receive the lowest days with frost in the country; the frost free period ranges from 340–360 days and there are an average of 14.5 days with frost.[26][27]:486

Northwest

Yungas in Tucuman province
Lerma Valley in Salta
Arid and hot weather predominate at the lower altitudes in the Andean valleys

Northwest Argentina is predominantly dry and hot and classified as subtropical.[35] Owing to its rugged topography, the region is climatically diverse, with different climate types depending on the altitude, temperature and distribution of precipitation.[36] Consequentially, the vegetation will differ at these different climate types.[37] Nonetheless, the climate of the northwest can be divided into 2 main types: a cold arid climate or semi-arid climate at the higher altitudes and a more humid and warmer subtropical climate that can support forests in the eastern parts of the region.[35][36] Under the Köppen climate classification, the region has 5 different climate types which are semi–arid (BS), arid (BW), temperate climate without a dry season and with a dry season (Cf and CW respectively) and an alpine climate at the highest altitudes.[37] In northwest Argentina, the atmospheric circulation is controlled by the two semi–permanent South Atlantic and South Pacific highs,[38]:18 and a seasonal low pressure system east of the Andes (called the Chaco Low).[26][39] During summer, the interaction between the South Atlantic high and the Chaco low causes the low pressure system to bring northeasterly and easterly winds that carry moisture to the region, particularly in the northern parts.[36][37][39] The movement of moist air into the region during the summer results in very high precipitation.[38]:20 Most of the moisture comes from the east since the Andes block any moisture from the Pacific Ocean.[15][36] Cold fronts that travel northwards to the region can produce precipitation during the summer months and is more prominent in the southern parts of the region.[38]:18[39] For example, in Tucuman Province, these cold fronts are responsible for 70% of the rainfall in that province.[38]:18 In contrast, during the winter months, the Chaco low attracts air masses from the South Pacific high, creating a dry and cold wind.[39] This effect is more prominent in the winter months, when the intensity of the cold is more stronger.[39] The Intertropical convergence zone reaches the region during the summer months, leading to low pressure, and unstable air masses due to the relatively high land temperatures compared to the sea during this season.[38]:18 This leads to enhanced precipitation in the form of convective thunderstorms during the summer months.[39] During the winter months, the intertropical convergence zone moves northwards to Ecuador while both the South Pacific and South Atlantic high move northwards, and the Chaco low weakens, all of which result in the suppression of rain during the winter.[15][37][38]:20[40] With the predominant wind being from the west and the Andes blocking most rain bearing clouds from the Pacific Ocean along with atmospheric circulation patterns unfavourable for rain, this results in a dry season during winter.[15][37][38]:20[40] At the highest altitudes, westerly winds from the Pacific ocean can penetrate during the winter months, leading to snowstorms.[36]

Precipitation in the region is highly seasonal and is mostly concentrated in the summer months in which precipitation decreases from east to west.[37][40] Precipitation is distributed irregularly owing to relief.[38]:29 As moist air reaches the eastern slopes of the mountains, this moist air raises up vertically, cooling adiabatically, leading to formation of clouds which generate copious amounts of rain.[37] Eastern slopes of the mountains can receive between 1,000 to 1,500 mm (39 to 59 in) of precipitation a year although some places can receive 2,500 mm (98 in) of precipitation per year owing to orographic precipitation.[36][37] In the south, the orographic effect is enhanced by advancing cold fronts from the south, resulting in enhanced precipitation.[38]:22 The high rainfall on these first slopes creates a thick jungle that extends in a narrow strip along these ranges.[39] Beyond the first slopes of the Andes into the valleys, the air descends vertically, warming adiabatically, creating air that is drier and warmer than on the eastern slopes.[37] Since the mountain ranges are oriented in a north–south direction, increase in altitude to the west,[36] and have a discontinuous orography, this allows valleys to have regions of relatively high precipitation in the west and drier regions in eastern parts of the valleys through orographic precipitation.[37][38]:29 In the temperate valleys, which include major cities such as Salta and Jujuy,[1] they have average precipitation ranging between 500 to 1,000 mm (20 to 39 in).[41] For example, in the Lerma Valley which is surrounded by tall mountains (only the northeastern part of the valley is surrounded by shorter mountains), precipitation ranges from 695 mm (27.4 in) in Salta to 1,395 mm (54.9 in) in San Lorenzo, just 11 km (6.8 mi) away.[38]:29 Rainfall in the Lerma valley in Salta and in wetter valleys in Jujuy province, including its provincial capital is mainly concentrated in the summer months and falls in short but heavy bursts.[42][43] Valleys in the southern parts of the region are more drier than northern valleys due to the mountains on the eastern slopes from both the Andes and the Sierras Pampeanas being taller than the ones in the north (ranging from 3,000 to 6,900 m (9,800 to 22,600 ft)), presenting a significant orographic barrier that blocks moist winds from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.[38]:22–23[44]:28 These valleys often receive less than 200 mm (7.9 in) of precipitation per year and are characterized by sparse vegetation adapted to the arid climate.[39] For example, in La Rioja province, mean annual precipitation ranges from 300 mm (12 in) in the easternmost parts to 100 mm (3.9 in) at the foot of the Andes.[45] Similarly in Catamarca province, the mean annual precipitation is 150 mm (5.9 in) in the middle of valleys between the Andes mountains and to more than 300 mm (12 in) in the nearby mountain ranges which form the valleys.[46] In Jujuy province, precipitation in the dry Quebrada de Humahuaca valley ranges from 200 to 410 mm (7.9 to 16.1 in).[47]:17 A similar annual precipitation is found in the dry Calchaquí Valleys, with mean annual precipitation ranging from 95 mm (3.7 in) in Molinos to 200 mm (7.9 in) in Cafayate.[47]:10 Further west in the Puna region next to Bolivia, the average altitude is 3,900 m (12,800 ft) and is mostly a desert due to the higher altitudes of the mountains on the east from both the Andes and the northwest extension of the Sierras Pampeanas, blocking most of the easterly winds from coming in.[36][38]:33[39][48] Precipitation in the Puna region averages less than 200 mm (7.9 in) a year while potential evapotranspiration ranges from 500 to 600 mm (20 to 24 in) a year, owing to the high insolation, strong winds, and low humidity that exacerbates the dry conditions.[13][49] Owing to the low precipitation in conjunction with the extreme climatic conditions, the Puna region has a water deficit in all months.[47]:17 Although easterly winds are rare in the Puna region, they bring 88–96% of the precipitation to the area.[36] Snowfall is rare, averaging less than 5 days of snow per year since most of the precipitation falls in the summer in the form of rain.[13][49] The southeast parts of the Puna region is very arid and receives the lowest annual precipitation in the region, averaging 50 mm (2.0 in).[36][38]:34 In the northeast parts of the Puna region in Jujuy province, mean annual precipitation ranges from 300 to 400 mm (12 to 16 in).[38]:34 Due to the aridity of these mountains at high altitudes, the snowline can extend as far up as 6,000 m above sea level.[4] The El Niño Southern Oscillation influences precipitation levels in northwest Argentina.[39][40][50] During an El Niño year, westerly flow is strengthened while moisture content from the east is reduced, resulting in a drier rainy season.[40][50] In contrast, during a La Niña year, there is enhanced easterly moisture transport, resulting in a more intense rainy season.[40][50] Nonetheless, this trend is highly variable both spatially and temporally.[40]

Temperatures in northwest Argentina vary by altitude.[36] In the temperate valleys which includes the cities of Salta and Jujuy, they have a temperate climate, with mild temperatures in the summer (a mean of 20 °C (68.0 °F) in Salta, 21 °C (69.8 °F) in Jujuy in January)[43] and extremely dry and cool winters with regular frosts (a mean of 10 °C (50.0 °F) in Salta and 10.5 °C (50.9 °F) in Jujuy in July).[42][51]:53 The diurnal range in these cities is fairly large, particularly in the winter.[42][43] In the Quebrada de Humahuaca valley in Jujuy province, north of Jujuy city, the diurnal range is large with a thermal amplitude between 16 to 20 °C (60.8 to 68.0 °F).[43] A major reason for the large thermal amplitude is that during the day, there is intense radiation from the sun, causing the land to heat up while during the night, there is less radiation, causing the land to cool and temperatures to fall down.[43][52] Mean temperatures in the warmest month in the Quebrada de Humahuaca valley range from 15.1 °C (59.2 °F) in Humahuaca at the higher altitudes to 18.5 °C (65.3 °F) in Volcan at the lower altitudes; in the coldest month, the mean temperature ranges from 7.1 to 8.1 °C (44.8 to 46.6 °F).[47]:10 The mean annual temperatures in the Quebrada de Humahuaca valley ranges from 12.0 to 14.1 °C (53.6 to 57.4 °F), depending on altitude.[47]:10 In the Calchaquí Valleys in Salta province, the climate is similar to the valleys in La Rioja province and Catamarca province, by being temperate and arid with large thermal amplitudes, long summers, and a long frost free period which varies depending on altitude.[47]:10[53][54] Mean temperatures in the warmest month in the Calchaqui valleys range from 14.5 °C (58.1 °F) at the higher altitudes to 22.1 °C (71.8 °F) at lower altitudes; in the coldest month, the mean temperature ranges from 4.8 to 9.6 °C (40.6 to 49.3 °F).[47]:11 The mean annual temperatures in the Calchaqui valleys ranges from 10.2 °C (50.4 °F) in La Poma at the higher altitudes to 16.9 °C (62.4 °F) in San Carlos which lies at a lower altitude.[47]:11 In both the Quebrada de Humahuaca and Calchaqui valleys, winters are cold with frosts that can occur between March and September.[41]

In the valleys in the south in La Rioja province and Catamarca province along with the southwest parts of Santiago del Estero Province which is part of the arid Chaco ecoregion,[55] the climate is mild year long in terms of temperature.[44]:28 Temperatures during the summer are very high, with a mean temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) in January, the warmest month.[55] Temperatures can exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F) on an average of 20–25 days and can occasionally exceed 45 °C (113.0 °F), particularly in the central valley of Catamarca (Valle Central de Catamarca) and the valley of La Rioja Capital which lie at lower altitudes than other valleys such as Tinogasta.[44]:28[55] Winters in the valleys of La Rioja province and Catamarca province along with southwest Santiago del Estero province are mild, with a mean temperature of 12 °C (53.6 °F).[55] Cold fronts from the south, bringing cold Antarctic air can cause severe frosts in the valleys of La Rioja province and Catamarca province.[44]:33 Temperatures can fall between −8 to −14 °C (17.6 to 6.8 °F) during these cold fronts.[44] In contrast, the Zonda wind, which occurs more during the winter months can affect these valleys in La Rioja province and Catamarca province can raise temperatures up to 35 °C (95.0 °F) with strong gusts, causing possible crop damage.[44]:33–34

Further west, in the Puna region next to Bolivia, temperatures are much colder, with a mean annual temperature of less than 10 °C (50.0 °F) owing to its high altitude.[13] The Puna region is characterized by being cold but sunny throughout the year.[49] The diurnal range is large with a thermal amplitude that can exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F) due to the low humidity and the intense sunlight throughout the year.[47]:17 and the mean annual maximum and minimum temperatures are 16 °C (60.8 °F) and −4 °C (24.8 °F) respectively with frosts that can occur in any month as night temperatures can regularly fall below freezing.[13][36][49] Absolute maximum temperatures in the Puna region can reach up to 30 °C (86.0 °F) while absolute minimum temperatures can fall below −20 °C (−4.0 °F).[47]:16

In Tucuman province, the eastern parts have an average annual temperature of 18 to 20 °C (64.4 to 68.0 °F).[56] Summers are hot with mean temperatures averaging between 24 to 26 °C (75.2 to 78.8 °F) while in winter, the mean temperatures are between 10 to 12 °C (50.0 to 53.6 °F).[41][56] Easternmost parts of the province, which borders the Chaco region are home to the highest and lowest temperatures in the province where absolute maximum temperatures can exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F) while absolute minimum temperatures can reach close to −7 °C (19.4 °F) owing to the accumulation of cold air that descends from the mountains.[56][57] At higher altitudes, the climate is cooler with summer temperatures averaging 20 °C (68.0 °F) and winter temperatures averaging 10 °C (50.0 °F).[56] The annual temperature in the higher altitudes is between 12 to 14 °C (53.6 to 57.2 °F) at an altitude of 2,500 metres (8,202.1 ft) above sea level.[57] Within the valleys located between the mountains, temperatures are cooler with a mean annual temperature of 13.1 °C (55.6 °F) (summers average 17.1 °C (62.8 °F) while winters average 9.0 °C (48.2 °F)) in the Tafi valley.[56]

Cuyo

Colder weather predominates at higher altitudes which can receive snow during the winter
Much of the region is dry, depending on rivers for irrigation

The region of Cuyo has an arid climate or a semi-arid climate with an average annual precipitation of about 100 to 500 millimetres (4 to 20 in) that is generally unreliable from year to year.[29][58] The region, which encompasses a wide range of latitudes combined with altitudes ranging from 500 m to nearly 7,000 m means that it has a diverse range of different climates.[54][58] In general, most of the region has a temperate climate with higher altitude valleys having a more milder climate.[53] At the highest altitudes (over 4,000 m), icy conditions persist year round.[58] The diurnal range is very large with very hot temperatures during the day followed by cold nights.[59] Amongst all locations in Argentina, the region has the largest diurnal range in the country with areas in San Juan Province having a diurnal range exceeding 19.1 °C (34.38 °F).[60] The Andes prevent rain–bearing clouds from the Pacific Ocean from coming in, while its latitude puts it in a band of the sub-tropical high pressure belt keeping this region dry.[15][29] With very low humidity, abundant sunshine throughout the year, and a temperate climate, the region is suitable for wine production.[54] Droughts are often frequent and prolonged.[15] The Cuyo region is influenced by the subtropical, semi–permanent South Atlantic anticyclone to the east in the Atlantic, the semi-permanent South Pacific anticyclone to the west of the Andes, the development of a low pressure system ("Chaco low") over northern Argentina and westerlies in the southern parts of the region.[29][30] Most of the precipitation falls during the summer, when hot temperatures and high insolation lead to the development of a low pressure system ("Chaco low") situated over northern Argentina that interacts with the South Atlantic anticyclone to generate a pressure gradient that brings moist easterly winds to the region, favouring precipitation, which mostly occurs in the form of convective thunderstorms.[15][28][29][30] More than 85% of the annual rainfall occurs from October to March, which represents the warm season.[29] In contrast, the winter months are dry due to these systems weakening, and the lower insolation that weakens the Chaco low over northern Argentina.[30] Eastern and southeastern areas of the region receive more precipitation than the western areas since they receive more summer rainfall.[30] As such, most of Mendoza province and San Juan province receive the lowest annual precipitation with mean summer precipitation averaging less than 100 mm (3.9 in) and in rare cases, no summer rainfall.[30] Further eastwards in San Luis province, mean summer rainfall averages around 500 mm (20 in) and can exceed 700 mm (28 in) in some areas.[30][61] Higher altitude locations receive precipitation in the form of snow during the winter months.[62][63][64] In the Cuyo region, annual precipitation is highly variable from year to year and appears to follow a cycle between dry and wet years in periods of about 2, 4–5, 6–8, and 16–22 years.[29] In wet years, easterly winds caused by the subtropical South Atlantic anticyclone are stronger, which causes more moisture towards this region while during the dry years, these winds are weaker.[29][30]

Summers in the region are hot and generally very sunny, averaging as much as 10 hours per day.[4][59] In contrast, winters are dry and cold and average around 7–8 hours of sunshine per day.[4][59] Since this region has a wide range of altitudes, ranging from 500 m to nearly 7,000 m, temperatures can vary widely with altitude. In the lowlands of Mendoza province, which lie at an altitude of around 440 m to 530 m, mean annual temperatures range from 18.2 to 18.7 °C (64.8 to 65.7 °F) in the northern parts to 15 °C (59 °F) in the south.[65] At higher altitude locations and in the western parts of Mendoza province, the mean annual temperatures range from −1.7 °C (28.9 °F) in Cristo Redentor to 13.6 °C (56.5 °F) with a larger difference in temperatures between winter and summer months.[62] In San Juan Province, the mean annual temperature ranges from 17.3 °C (63.1 °F) in the provincial capital to −0.2 °C (31.6 °F).[66] In San Luis province, mean annual temperatures range from 15.8 °C (60.4 °F) in Villa Reynolds to 16.6 °C (61.9 °F) in the provincial capital.[61][67] The Sierras Pampeanas, which cross into both San Juan province and San Luis province have a milder climate with mean annual temperatures ranging from 12 to 18 °C (53.6 to 64.4 °F).[64] In all locations, at altitudes over 3,800 m, permafrost is present while icy conditions persist year round at altitudes over 4,000 m.[58]

The Zonda, a Foehn wind characterized by warm, dry air can cause temperatures to exceed 30 °C (86.0 °F) in some cases while in summer, temperatures can exceed 45 °C (113.0 °F) such as in 2003.[68][69] This wind often precedes following a cold front passage across Argentina and tends to occur when a low pressure system brings heavy rain to the Chilean side, and when an upper level trough allows the winds to pass over the Andes to descend downwards.[68][70][71] As such, when a zonda wind event occurs, the temperature may raise as much as 20 °C (68.0 °F) in a few hours with humidity approaching 0%.[70] In contrast, cold waves are also common, owing to the Andes channeling cold air from the south, allowing cold fronts to frequently come during the winter months, causing cool to cold temperatures with temperatures that can fall below freezing.[71][72] Temperatures can dip below −10 to −30 °C (14.0 to −22.0 °F) at the higher altitudes.[63]

Pampas

Typical landscape in the Pampas

The Pampas region, possesses lands in the country that are appropriate for agricultural and livestock activities. It is mostly a flat area, being only interrupted by the Tandil and Ventana sierras in its southern portion.[73] The climate of the Pampas is characterized as being temperate and humid with no dry season, featuring hot summers and mild winters (Cfa/Cfb according to the Köppen climate classification).[73][74][75] Annual temperatures range from 17 °C (62.6 °F) in the northern parts to 14 °C (57.2 °F) in the south.[74] Precipitation follows a west to east gradient of increasing precipitation.[76] Precipitation ranges from 1,200 millimetres (47 in) in the northeast, to 700 to 800 millimetres (28 to 31 in) in most regions, to under 500 millimetres (20 in) in the south and west.[77] Precipitation is well distributed throughout the year in the easternmost parts while in the western parts, most of the precipitation is concentrated during the summer months with drier winters.[73][12] The Pampas are moderately sunny, ranging from an average of 4–5 hours of sunshine per day during the winter months to 8–9 hours in summer.[4] The Pampas are influenced by the El Niño Southern Oscillation which is responsible for variation in annual precipitation.[73][77] An El Niño year often leads to higher precipitation while a La Niña year leads to lower precipitation.[77]

Summers are long and hot, with average high temperatures between 29 to 32 °C (84.2 to 89.6 °F) (except along the Atlantic coast, where they range from 25 to 28 °C (77.0 to 82.4 °F)) and nighttime lows between 18 °C (64.4 °F) at the northern edge and 14 °C (57.2 °F) in the south.[77] Afternoon thunderstorms, which often bring in intense amounts of precipitation are common, as well as heat waves that can bring temperatures in the 36 to 40 °C (96.8 to 104.0 °F) range for a few days.[77] These thunderstorms are known to have the most frequent lightning and highest convective cloud tops in the world.[78][79] The severe thunderstorms produce intense hailstorms, and both floods and flash floods, as well as the most consistently active tornado region outside the central and southeastern US.[80] These are usually followed a day or two of strong Pampero winds from the south, which bring cool, dry air with high temperatures in the low 20s and nights often below 12 °C to 15 °C.[77] Precipitation in the summer is high, when hot temperatures and high insolation lead to the development of a low pressure system situated over northern Argentina that interacts with the South Atlantic anticyclone to generate a pressure gradient that brings moist easterly winds to the region, favouring precipitation, which mostly occurs in the form of convective thunderstorms.[15][28] Most places average between 90 mm and 160 mm of monthly precipitation during the season.

Autumn arrives in March and brings periods of very rainy weather followed by dry, mild stretches and cool nights.[77] Across the region, daytime temperatures range from 24 to 28 °C (75.2 to 82.4 °F) in March (nights range from 14 to 18 °C (57.2 to 64.4 °F)),[77] from 20 °C to 24 °C in April (nights 9 °C to 12 °C), and from 17 °C to 21 °C in May (nights from 5 °C to 9 °C). Places in the east receive rainfall throughout autumn, whereas in the west it quickly becomes very dry.[77]

Generally, frost arrives in early April in the southernmost areas, and in late May in the north and end by mid-September although the dates of the first and last frosts can vary from year to year.[73][74][77] Frost is usually not intense nor prolonged and may not occur each year.[4][24] June, July and August are the core of the winter in the Pampas, and there are often drastic changes in temperature. During the winter months, most of the precipitation occurs from frontal systems associated with cyclogenesis and strong southeasterly winds (Sudestada), which often bring long periods of precipitation, cloudiness and cooler temperatures, particularly in the southern and eastern parts.[24][81][22] As such, precipitation tends to be more evenly distributed in the eastern parts than the western parts, which are further away from these frontal systems.[81] Dull, grey and damp weather characterize winters in the Pampas.[24] In contrast, tropical air masses from the north may move southward, which provides relief from the cool, damp temperatures.[24] On average, winter temperatures tend to be mild during the day but cold during the night.[75] Snowfall is extremely rare although they rarely last for more than a day or two.[24]

Patagonia

Typical landscape view of the central Patagonian plateaus in Chubut Province
The Andean range over the province of Santa Cruz.
Lago Frías in Río Negro Province during winter. Much of the western parts of the region receive abundant precipitation, allowing it support forests. It is the wettest place in Argentina and holds the record for the most rainfall in a month.[60]
One defining characteristic of the climate is the strong, persistent winds from the west year round owing to the lack of land at higher latitudes that can block these winds.[82][83] This forms characteristic Flag trees such as this one near Ushuaia

Its climate is classified as arid to semi-arid and temperate to cool temperate.[84][85] One defining characteristic are the strong winds from the west which blow year round (more stronger in summer than in winter) which helps favor evaporation and is a factor in making the region mostly arid.[86] Mean annual wind speeds range between 15 to 22 km/h (9.3 to 13.7 mph) although gusts of over 100 km/h (62 mph) are common.[82] There are 3 major factors that influence the climate of the region: The Andes, the South Pacific High and South Atlantic High and higher insolation in the east than western areas.[87] The Andes which run north to south divides much of Patagonia into two different regions: Western (Chilean) Patagonia and Eastern (Argentine) Patagonia.[88][89] The Andes play a crucial role in determining the climate of Patagonia because the north–south orientation of the Andes creates a barrier for humid air masses coming from the Pacific Ocean.[85][90] Since the predominant wind is mostly from the west and most air masses come from the Pacific ocean, the Andes causes these air masses to ascend upwards, cooling adiabatically.[85][86] Most of the moisture are dropped on the Chilean side resulting in abundant cloud and precipitation while in much of Argentine side, the air warms adiabatically and becomes drier as it descends.[85][86] As a result, the Andes creates an extensive rain–shadow in much of Argentine Patagonia and most of the region is arid.[90][86] South of 52oS, the Andes are shorter in height, reducing the rain shadow effect in Tierra del Fuego province allowing for forests to be present on the Atlantic coast.[83] Patagonia is located between the subtropical high pressure belt and the subpolar low pressure zone, meaning it is exposed to westerly winds that are strong, since south of 40o S, there is few land to block these winds.[82][83] Being located between the semipermanent anticyclones of the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean at around 30oS and the subpolar low at arount 60o S the movement of the high and low pressure systems along with ocean currents determine the precipitation pattern.[85] During winter, both the South Pacific and South Atlantic anticyclones move to the north while the subpolar low strengthens, which when combined with higher ocean temperatures than the surrounding land results in higher precipitation during this time of the year throughout the region.[85][86] In contrast, during summer, the lower precipitation is due to the southward migration of the South Pacific anticyclone, which prevents the passage of fronts, and cyclones that can cause precipitation to occur.[86] Northeastern areas along with southern parts of the region are influenced by air masses from the Atlantic ocean, resulting in precipitation being more evenly distributed throughout the year.[85] Most precipitation occurs from frontal systems,[85] particularly stationary fronts that bring humid air from the Atlantic ocean.[86] Cold fronts usually move from west to east or from southwest to northeast and rarely from the south.[86] Because of this, these cold fronts do not result in the cold being intense since they are moderated as they pass over the ocean.[86] In the rare cases that cold fronts move northwards from the south in Antarctica, the cold air masses are not moderated by the ocean, resulting in very cold temperatures throughout the region.[86] In general, the passage of cold fronts are more common in the south than in the north and occur more in winter than in summer.[86] In general, the return of subtropical air is gradual and does not form a front.[86] In the case that warm fronts occur, these are usually associated with winds from the northwest and usually result in little precipitation.[86] The movement of warm, subtropical air into the region occurs frequently in summer up to 46oS.[86] When warm subtropical air arrives in the region, the air is dry, resulting in little precipitation and can cause temperatures to be higher than the ones observed in northeast Argentina.[86]

The influence of the Pacific ocean, general circulation patterns and the topographic barrier caused by the Andes results in a strong west to east precipitation gradient.[85] This precipitation gradient is one of the strongest in the world.[91] Precipitation steeply decreases from west to east,[90][91] ranging from 4,000 mm (160 in) in the west on the Andean foothills at 41oS to 150 mm (5.9 in) in the central plateaus.[90] The high precipitation in the Andes in this region allows it to support glaciers and permanent snowfields.[4] In much of the region, mean annual precipitation ranges from more than 1,000 mm (39 in) at the Andean foothills to 200 mm (7.9 in) in less than 100 km (62 mi) away in an east to west direction.[86] Most of the region receives less than 200 mm (7.9 in) of precipitation per year although some areas can receive less than 100 mm (3.9 in).[86] With the exception of certain areas such as Puerto Blest, no major towns receive more than 1,000 mm (39 in) of precipitation a year.[92] Much of northwestern Patagonia in the Andes receives abundant precipitation in winter with occasional droughts in summer, allowing it to support forests with dense coverage.[93] The southwestern parts of the region in the Andes receives less precipitation compared to the one in northwestern Patagonia, receiving only 200 to 500 mm (7.9 to 19.7 in) which results in the forests being less dense.[93] In northern Río Negro province and eastern Neuquén province, mean annual precipitation is slightly higher, exceeding 300 mm (12 in) while south of 50oS, it exceeds 200 mm (7.9 in) which increases southwards, reaching up to 600 to 800 mm (24 to 31 in).[86] There is a narrow zone of transition running down from 39oS to 47oS that receives about 400 mm (16 in) of precipitation a year.[92] The aridity of the region is due to the combination of low precipitation, strong winds, and high temperatures in the summer months, all of which cause high evaporation rates.[13] Mean evapotranspiration ranges from 550 to 750 mm (22 to 30 in), which decreases from northeast to southwest.[13] In most of Patagonia, precipitation is concentrated in the winter months due to the northward migration of the South Pacific anticyclone.[94] When the South Pacific anticyclone moves north, more frontal systems can pass through, allowing for more precipitation to occur.[86] Northeastern areas along with southern parts of the region are influenced by air masses from the Atlantic ocean, resulting in precipitation being more evenly distributed throughout the year.[85] Towards the northeast, the summer rainfall maxima is more characteristic of the rainfall pattern in central and northern Argentina.[94] As a result, except for the northeastern areas, the winter maxima in precipitation results in a strong water deficit in the summer.[85] Most precipitation events result in less than 5 mm (0.20 in).[85] Thunderstorms are infrequent in the region, occurring on an average of 5 days per year which all happen only during summer.[86] In Tierra del Fuego, thunderstorms are non-existent.[86] Snowfall occurs on 5 to 20 days per year which occurs mainly in the west and south.[13] These snowfall events can result in strong snow storms.[2]

Mean annual temperatures range from 15.9 °C (60.6 °F) in the north in Cipolletti to 5.4 °C (41.7 °F) in the south in Ushuaia.[82] Temperatures in the region are relatively cold for its latitude due to the cold Malvinas Current and the high altitude.[86] For example, in Tierra del Fuego, temperatures are colder than at equal latitudes in the northern hemisphere in Europe since it is influenced by the cold Malvinas current rather than the warm North Atlantic Current.[95]:17 A characteristic of the temperature pattern is the NW–SE distribution of isotherms (temperatures decrease as one goes southwest and increases northeast) due to the presence of the Andes.[85] The warmest parts of the region are in northern parts of Rio Negro province and Neuquén province where mean annual temperatures range from 13 to 15 °C (55.4 to 59.0 °F) while the coldest are in western Santa Cruz province and Tierra del Fuego province where mean annual temperatures range from 5 to 8 °C (41.0 to 46.4 °F).[86] At higher altitudes in the Andes stretching from Neuquén province to Tierra del Fuego province, mean annual temperatures can be less than 5 °C (41.0 °F) and can be below 0 °C (32.0 °F), depending on latitude and altitude.[86] Generally, mean annual temperatures vary more with altitude than with latitude since the temperature gradient for latitude is relatively moderate owing to ocean currents.[86] Summers have a less uniform distribution of temperature and in the months December to January, mean temperatures range from 24 °C (75.2 °F) in northern Río Negro province and eastern parts of Neuquén province to 9 °C (48.2 °F) in Tierra del Fuego.[86] Winters tend to have a more uniform distribution of temperature.[86] In July, mean temperatures are above 0 °C (32.0 °F) in all of extra–Andean Patagonia,[85] ranging from 7 °C (44.6 °F) in the north to around 0 °C (32.0 °F) in Ushuaia.[86] Being exposed to strong westerly winds, these winds can decrease the perception in temperature (wind chill), particularly in summer.[85] The wind lowers the perception of the mean annual temperature by 4.2 °C (7.6 °F) throughout the region while in the west, the decrease in the perceived annual temperature varies between 3 to 6 °C (37.4 to 42.8 °F).[85] The annual range of temperatures in Patagonia is lower than in similar areas in the Northern Hemisphere owing to the narrowness of the region at higher latitudes.[85][96] In Patagonia, the annual range of temperatures ranges from 16 °C (60.8 °F) in the north[85][96] and progressively decreases southwards to 8 °C (46.4 °F) and to 4 °C (39.2 °F) on the southernmost islands.[96] This contrasts with an annual range of more than 20 °C (68.0 °F) in North America at latitudes above 50oN.[85] Absolute maximum temperatures can exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F) in the northern Río Negro province and Neuquén province while in much of the region excluding Tierra del Fuego province and the highest altitudes, they can exceed 30 °C (86.0 °F).[86] Further south in Tierra del Fuego province, absolute maximum temperatures do not go over 30 °C (86.0 °F) while in the southernmost islands, they do not go over 20 °C (68.0 °F).[96] Absolute minimum temperatures are more than −15 °C (5.0 °F) in coastal areas while in the central Patagonian plateaus, they can reach below −20 °C (−4.0 °F).[86]

The Atlantic Ocean moderates the climate of coastal areas.[92] For example, the mean annual temperature of Esquel is 8.5 °C (47.3 °F) while in Puerto Santa Cruz, located 780 km (480 mi) to the south, the mean annual temperature is 8.6 °C (47.5 °F) which indicates the warming effect of the Atlantic ocean on coastal areas.[92] This results in the coastal areas having a lower annual and daily range of temperatures.[97] Summers and springs have mild temperatures while winters are less cold than inland areas as a result of the moderating effect of the Atlantic ocean.[97]

On the Patagonian plateaus, mean annual temperatures range from 8 to 10 °C (46.4 to 50.0 °F) which decreases towards the west (5 to 6 °C (41.0 to 42.8 °F)).[91] The central Patagonian plateaus have the highest mean maximum temperatures for its latitude.[86] The daily and annual range of temperatures on these plateaus are very high.[92][98] Absolute maximum temperatures can reach 40 °C (104.0 °F) while during cold waves, the cold is intense with temperatures that can fall below −30 °C (−22.0 °F).[96][98]

Statistics

Shown below are the mean monthly temperature and precipitation for selected places in Argentina that represent the full variety of major climate types in Argentina. Year round averages and totals are displayed along with conversions to imperial units as well.

Temperature

Average Temperatures in various locations in Argentina in °Celsius (°Fahrenheit)
Location     Jan         Feb         Mar         Apr         May         Jun         Jul         Aug         Sept        Oct         Nov         Dec       Annual  
Salta[99] 0821.2 (70.2) 08 20.1 (68.2) 08 18.9 (66.0) 09 16.2 (61.2) 11 13.3 (55.9) 11 10.1 (50.2) 11 10.1 (50.2) 11 12.3 (54.1) 12 15.0 (59.0) 11 18.7 (65.7) 10 20.3 (68.5) 08 21.2 (70.2) 09 16.5 (61.7)
La Quiaca[100] 0212.5 (54.5) 02 12.1 (53.8) 04 12.0 (53.6) 04 10.2 (50.4) 04 6.7 (44.1) 04 4.1 (39.4) 05 3.8 (38.8) 05 6.0 (42.8) 05 8.7 (47.7) 04 10.7 (51.3) 04 12.0 (53.6) 02 12.2 (54.0) 04 9.2 (48.6)
La Rioja[101] 1727.4 (81.3) 16 25.9 (78.6) 15 23.4 (74.1) 14 19.8 (67.6) 14 15.5 (59.9) 12 11.1 (52.0) 12 10.9 (51.6) 14 14.0 (57.2) 15 17.8 (64.0) 16 22.5 (72.5) 17 25.4 (77.7) 17 27.2 (81.0) 14 20.1 (68.2)
Santiago del Estero[102] 1426.8 (80.2) 14 25.6 (78.1) 14 23.4 (74.1) 15 20.0 (68.0) 15 16.7 (62.1) 15 12.7 (54.9) 15 12.6 (54.7) 15 15.0 (59.0) 16 18.4 (65.1) 15 22.3 (72.1) 16 24.7 (76.5) 15 26.5 (79.7) 16 20.4 (68.7)
Formosa[103] 1627.3 (81.1) 17 26.8 (80.2) 17 25.2 (77.4) 17 22.0 (71.6) 17 19.3 (66.7) 17 16.7 (62.1) 17 16.8 (62.2) 17 17.7 (63.9) 17 19.5 (67.1) 17 22.6 (72.7) 15 24.5 (76.1) 16 26.5 (79.7) 17 22.1 (71.8)
Oberá[104] 1325.4 (77.7) 13 24.5 (76.1) 16 23.6 (74.5) 16 20.2 (68.4) 16 17.4 (63.3) 16 14.9 (58.8) 16 15.2 (59.4) 16 16.7 (62.1) 14 17.4 (63.3) 14 20.8 (69.4) 13 22.8 (73.0) 13 24.8 (76.6) 15 20.3 (68.5)
San Juan[105] 1527.0 (80.6) 15 25.7 (78.3) 13 22.4 (72.3) 11 17.5 (63.5) 09 12.2 (54.0) 08 7.8 (46.0) 08 7.8 (46.0) 09 10.8 (51.4) 09 14.0 (57.2) 13 19.7 (67.5) 14 23.5 (74.3) 14 26.4 (79.5) 12 17.9 (64.2)
San Luis[106] 1124.4 (75.9) 10 23.1 (73.6) 10 20.2 (68.4) 10 16.7 (62.1) 10 13.2 (55.8) 10 9.6 (49.3) 10 9.4 (48.9) 10 11.6 (52.9) 11 14.5 (58.1) 10 18.4 (65.1) 12 21.4 (70.5) 12 23.6 (74.5) 10 17.2 (63.0)
Malargüe[107] 0619.6 (67.3) 06 18.4 (65.1) 05 15.3 (59.5) 05 11.3 (52.3) 05 7.4 (45.3) 05 4.2 (39.6) 04 3.5 (38.3) 04 5.4 (41.7) 04 8.1 (46.6) 05 12.1 (53.8) 05 15.6 (60.1) 06 18.4 (65.1) 05 11.6 (52.9)
Puente del Inca[108] 0214.2 (57.6) 03 13.8 (56.8) 03 11.7 (53.1) 03 8.4 (47.1) 02 4.2 (39.6) 01 0.9 (33.6) 01 -0.1 (31.8) 01 1.2 (34.2) 01 4.0 (39.2) 02 6.6 (43.9) 02 10.1 (50.2) 03 13.1 (55.6) 02 7.4 (45.3)
Buenos Aires[109] 1224.5 (76.1) 12 23.4 (74.1) 12 21.3 (70.3) 12 17.6 (63.7) 12 14.4 (57.9) 13 11.2 (52.2) 13 11.0 (51.8) 11 12.3 (54.1) 10 14.4 (57.9) 09 17.2 (63.0) 09 20.3 (68.5) 10 23.0 (73.4) 11 17.5 (63.5)
Córdoba, Argentina[110] 1024.1 (75.4) 11 23.1 (73.6) 11 20.9 (69.6) 13 17.9 (64.2) 13 14.9 (58.8) 14 11.3 (52.3) 14 11.3 (52.3) 12 13.2 (55.8) 13 15.6 (60.1) 12 18.9 (66.0) 11 21.3 (70.3) 11 23.2 (73.8) 13 18.0 (64.4)
Santa Rosa[111] 0923.7 (74.7) 09 22.4 (72.3) 09 19.1 (66.4) 07 15.1 (59.2) 07 11.2 (52.2) 07 7.8 (46.0) 07 7.6 (45.7) 08 9.3 (48.7) 08 12.2 (54.0) 08 15.6 (60.1) 08 19.3 (66.7) 09 22.4 (72.3) 08 15.5 (59.9)
Mar del Plata[112] 0720.3 (68.5) 07 19.9 (67.8) 07 18.0 (64.4) 06 14.6 (58.3) 08 11.3 (52.3) 09 8.5 (47.3) 09 8.1 (46.6) 07 8.9 (48.0) 07 10.5 (50.9) 07 13.1 (55.6) 07 15.9 (60.6) 07 18.5 (65.3) 07 14.0 (57.2)
Bariloche[113] 03 14.4 (57.9) 04 14.0 (57.2) 02 11.5 (52.7) 02 7.7 (45.9) 03 5.2 (41.4) 03 2.7 (36.9) 03 2.2 (36.0) 03 2.9 (37.2) 03 4.7 (40.5) 03 7.6 (45.7) 03 10.7 (51.3) 04 13.1 (55.6) 03 8.1 (46.6)
Comodoro Rivadavia[114] 05 19.1 (66.4) 05 18.4 (65.1) 06 16.1 (61.0) 05 12.9 (55.2) 06 9.5 (49.1) 06 6.8 (44.2) 06 6.4 (43.5) 06 7.7 (45.9) 06 9.9 (49.8) 06 12.7 (54.9) 06 15.9 (60.6) 05 17.9 (64.2) 06 12.8 (55.0)
Ushuaia[115] 01 10.3 (50.5) 01 9.5 (49.1) 01 7.6 (45.7) 01 5.7 (42.3) 01 3.1 (37.6) 02 1.7 (35.1) 02 1.6 (34.9) 02 2.4 (36.3) 02 4.3 (39.7) 01 6.5 (43.7) 01 8.3 (46.9) 01 9.1 (48.4) 01 5.8 (42.4)

Precipitation

Average Precipitation in various locations in Argentina in millimeters (inches)
    Jan         Feb         Mar         Apr         May         Jun         Jul         Aug        Sept        Oct         Nov         Dec       Annual  
Salta[99] 182.0 (7.17) 162.9 (6.41) 118.3 (4.66) 36.6 (1.44) 8.6 (0.34) 2.6 (0.10) 3.5 (0.14) 4.2 (0.17) 6.6 (0.26) 26.1 (1.03) 65.3 (2.57) 138.0 (5.43) 754.7 (29.71)
La Quiaca[100] 79.7 (3.14) 68.0 (2.68) 48.7 (1.92) 9.7 (0.38) 0.7 (0.03) 0.7 (0.03) 0.0 (0.00) 0.7 (0.03) 2.7 (0.11) 16.3 (0.64) 30.0 (1.18) 78.0 (3.07) 335.0 (13.19)
La Rioja[101] 80.1 (3.15) 71.6 (2.82) 54.1 (2.13) 18.4 (0.72) 7.4 (0.29) 2.6 (0.10) 3.1 (0.12) 5.2 (0.21) 6.5 (0.26) 12.7 (0.50) 43.3 (1.71) 56.6 (2.23) 361.6 (14.24)
Santiago del Estero[102] 135.5 (5.34) 111.3 (4.38) 83.3 (3.28) 37.2 (1.47) 16.7 (0.66) 6.2 (0.24) 3.7 (0.15) 4.5 (0.178) 13.8 (0.54) 33.2 (1.31) 67.6 (2.66) 96.1 (3.78) 609.1 (23.98)
Formosa[103] 171.2 (6.74) 142.4 (5.61) 151.7 (5.97) 153.3 (6.04) 105.6 (4.16) 66.8 (2.63) 49.6 (1.95) 60.1 (2.37) 85.1 (3.35) 120.7 (4.75) 171.0 (6.73) 146.8 (5.78) 1424.3 (56.08)
Oberá[104] 181.8 (7.16) 215.6 (8.49) 158.6 (6.24) 235.1 (9.26) 252.0 (9.92) 163.9 (6.45) 138.8 (5.47) 175.8 (6.92) 153.7 (6.05) 179.2 (7.06) 217.3 (8.56) 230.6 (9.08) 2302.4 (90.65)
San Juan[105] 15.3 (0.60) 18.4 (0.72) 11.4 (0.45) 1.9 (0.08) 4.6 (0.18) 1.3 (0.05) 7.2 (0.28) 3.0 (0.12) 7.0 (0.28) 4.7 (0.19) 5.9 (0.23) 11.6 (0.46) 92.3 (3.63)
San Luis[106] 109.7 (4.32) 86.9 (3.42) 91.2 (3.59) 42.2 (1.66) 11.6 (0.46) 8.9 (0.35) 10.8 (0.43) 8.1 (0.32) 19.2 (0.76) 35.9 (1.41) 77.4 (3.05) 101.3 (3.99) 603.2 (23.75)
Malargüe[107] 24.0 (0.95) 29.5 (1.16) 24.5 (0.97) 14.5 (0.57) 21.1 (0.83) 35.0 (1.38) 36.9 (1.45) 16.1 (0.63) 21.1 (0.83) 19.4 (0.76) 22.1 (0.87) 26.6 (1.05) 290.8 (11.45)
Puente del Inca[108] 4.9 (0.19) 5.8 (0.23) 4.2 (0.17) 10.5 (0.41) 68.5 (2.70) 64.9 (2.56) 49.6 (1.95) 47.9 (1.89) 16.6 (0.65) 18.1 (0.71) 10.9 (0.43) 1.2 (0.05) 302.8 (11.92)
Buenos Aires[109] 119.0 (4.69) 117.6 (4.63) 134.1 (5.28) 97.0 (3.82) 73.6 (2.90) 62.6 (2.47) 66.3 (2.61) 69.8 (2.75) 73.3 (2.89) 119.0 (4.69) 108.6 (4.28) 105.0 (4.13) 1145.9 (45.11)
Córdoba [110] 121.7 (4.79) 99.8 (3.93) 110.3 (4.34) 52.2 (2.06) 18.9 (0.74) 11.4 (0.45) 12.8 (0.50) 9.7 (0.38) 33.8 (1.33) 66.4 (2.61) 96.6 (3.80) 136.9 (5.39) 770.5 (30.34)
Santa Rosa[111] 74.1 (2.92) 74.8 (2.95) 91.7 (3.61) 52.7 (2.08) 27.7 (1.09) 16.3 (0.64) 18.7 (0.74) 23.3 (0.92) 41.8 (1.65) 70.2 (2.76) 101.0 (3.98) 93.5 (3.68) 685.8 (27.00)
Mar del Plata[112] 100.1 (3.94) 72.8 (2.87) 107.0 (4.21) 73.3 (2.89) 73.5 (2.89) 54.9 (2.16) 58.9 (2.32) 64.0 (2.52) 56.4 (2.22) 83.4 (32.8) 75.3 (2.97) 104.0 (4.09) 923.6 (36.36)
Bariloche[113] 24.3 (0.96) 19.7 (0.78) 28.6 (1.13) 52.8 (2.08) 130.5 (5.14) 126.9 (5.00) 140.2 (5.52) 115.3 (4.54) 56.1 (2.21) 34.7 (1.37) 23.1 (0.91) 30.4 (1.20) 782.6 (30.81)
Comodoro Rivadavia[114] 16.2 (0.64) 15.0 (0.59) 20.7 (0.82) 23.3 (0.92) 31.7 (1.25) 25.3 (1.00) 28.7 (1.13) 25.0 (0.98) 12.3 (0.48) 14.9 (0.59) 10.6 (0.42) 15.0 (0.59) 238.7 (9.40)
Ushuaia[115] 30.7 (1.21) 33.2 (1.31) 47.8 (1.88) 49.7 (1.96) 54.5 (2.15) 54.7 (2.15) 46.2 (1.82) 60.7 (2.39) 39.5 (1.56) 34.6 (1.36) 35.4 (1.39) 41.0 (1.61) 528.0 (20.79)

Extremes

High

According to the Argentine National Weather Service (Spanish: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional), the highest recorded temperature was 49.1 °C (120.4 °F) in Rivadavia, Salta, Salta Province on December 11, 1905.[3]

Low

According to the Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, there are 3 possible cases for the lowest temperature recorded in Argentina.[60]

  • A low of −32.8 °C (−27.0 °F) was recorded in Sarmiento, Chubut on June 1, 1907.[3][60]
  • A low of −35.0 °C (−31.0 °F) was recorded in Maquinchao on July 17, 1991.[60]
  • A low of −39.0 °C (−38.2 °F) was recorded in Valle de los Patos Superior, San Juan Province on July 17, 1972.[60]

Among these 3 possible cases, the World Meteorological Organization recognizes the record low of −32.8 °C (−27.0 °F) recorded in Sarmiento as the lowest temperature recorded in South America and Argentina.[3]

Precipitation

With an average annual precipitation of 3,668 mm (144.4 in), Lago Frías in Río Negro Province is considered to be the wettest place in Argentina.[116] Although an average annual precipitation of 6,251 mm (246.1 in) has been recorded in Lago Tromen in Neuquén province, the validity of the data is dubious owing to fewer years of data.[116] Lago Frías also has the wettest monthly precipitation in Argentina when 1,147 mm (45.2 in) of precipitation was recorded on May 1951.[60] In contrast, the driest place is Angualasto, San Juan province, which only receives 24 mm (0.94 in) of precipitation a year.[116] The highest recorded one–day rainfall total occurred on 2 April 2013 when 392.2 millimetres (15 in) of precipitation fell in La Plata at the La Plata Astronomical Observatory.[117] This caused massive flooding, leading to power outages.[118]

Natural disasters

Natural disasters can negatively impact the environment, economic infrastructure and essential services.[119]:37 Owing to its geographical characteristics, Argentina is exposed to natural disasters such as severe storms, flooding, and droughts.[119]:37

Floods

The Pampas are vulnerable to flooding owing to its flat topography and poor water drainage

Argentina's geomorphic characteristics make the country highly vulnerable to floods.[120] These floods can damage infrastructure, deaths of people, increase the risk of diseases, and negatively impact agricultural productivity, which is one of the main economic activities of the country.[121][122] Many of the large Argentinean cities, and agriculturally productive areas are connected to rivers.[120] The plains are the regions in Argentina that are at the highest risk for flooding, particularly in the northeast, and central parts of the country, including Greater Buenos Aires.[121] This is because in these plains, which cover 35% of the land area in the country (including the Chaco and Pampean areas) are characterized by a flat landscape, which can impede proper water drainage.[123] Both the Parana and Paraguay basins have a flat landscape, and is highly susceptible to flooding due to river overflows as a result of high rainfall.[14] These floods can last for months, particularly in the Parana river owing to its large basin.[14] In the most extreme case, during the year 1982–1983, the floods in the Parana river persisted for more than one year, negatively impacting socially and economically.[124] Major floodings in the Parana river include the ones in 1992, and 1997 and had been more frequent since the 1980s due to higher precipitation trends.[14] Similarly in Buenos Aires Province flooding occurs due to river overflows and poor water drainage and has seen major flooding events in 1987, 2002/2003, 2012 and in 2014, causing damage to agriculture production.[14] Most of the flooding events occur on El Niño years owing to higher rainfall.[119]:38 Flooding can also affect Patagonia and urban centers in the northwest though the number of people affected and economic losses are lower than the ones in the Pampas owing to lower population densities.[125] Flooding can jeopardize access to safe water.[126] A leptospirosis outbreak occurred following a flooding in 1998.[126]

Droughts and dust storms

Argentina is highly dependent on water supplies originating outside its borders, making it highly vulnerable to changes in water supplies due to climate change.[127] Droughts are frequent and devastating.[128] Several years of droughts during the last decade have severely affected agricultural production and reduced its economic growth.[127][129] A drought in 2009 was the worst drought in more than 50 years.[130] Many cattle died of hunger while huge swaths of soy, corn and wheat fields had been affected.[130] It was estimated that the country lost more than US$5 billion from the drought.[130] A drought in 2011 affected farming of soy and corn, producing a cost of US$2.5 billion.[119]

A dust storm in Córdoba. Dust storms can negatively impact the air quality and potential damage households.[131]

Drier parts of the country are areas highly prone to dust storms.[132] These include areas west of Buenos Aires, which can average more than 8 dust storms per year and parts of Patagonia, owing to its aridity and windy climate.[133] Certain areas in the Altiplano are highly prone to dust storms owing to extensive areas of closed depressions and the presence of salt flats that erode the rock, allowing it to contain a source of fine material that can travel large distances during periods of strong wind.[132][133] Dust storms are more frequent during droughts, particularly in agricultural areas.[132] Dust storms can effect large areas, leading to numerous impacts.[131] These dust storms can lead to loss of crop and livestock, affecting the local economy.[131] Productive topsoil may be loss during dust storms, leading to loss in soil producitivity, which can increase soil erosion and negatively affecting crop productivity in the long term since the removal of topsoil removes many vital nutrients for plant growth.[131] In addition to impacts on agriculture, dust storms can damages cars and buildings, lower visibility on roads, affect the air quality and affect water quality in rivers and lakes.[131]

Tornados and severe storms

Hall of Tornadoes in South America (Spanish: Pasillo de los Tornados). Areas in grey have a high risk while areas in red have a moderate risk of tornadoes

Argentina experiences frequent tornado occurrences each year.[134] Tornadoes occur in the South American "tornado alley"[80] (Spanish: Pasillo de los Tornados), which includes the provinces of Entre Ríos, Córdoba, Santa Fe, La Pampa and Greater Buenos Aires.[135] The frequency of tornado occurrences is similar to the one found in the Tornado Alley in North America.[136] However, there is no exact number of tornado occurrences per year, owing to the lack of data.[136][137] These regions have the most frequent and intense Mesoscale convective systems.[80] Tornaodoes occur between November and April.[137] In this region, which occupies most of the Pampas, cold air from Patagonia meet warm, humid air from Brazil with dry air coming from the Andes.[137] When these air masses collide, they can produce intense storms, which can frequently become supercells that can produce tornados.[137] With a larger number of convective storms, there is a higher chance that some of these storms will produce tornadoes.[134] Most tornadoes are relatively weak and rarely cause deaths.[135] The most strongest tornado recorded occurred in 1973 when a tornado struck San Justo, Santa Fe.[137] The tornado was an F5 on the Fujita scale with winds up to 500 km/h (310 mph), making it the worst tornado in Latin America and the Caribbean.[137]

Severe storms impact large cities more often and can damage cars, houses and disrupt public services such as transport and collection and disposal of urban solid waste.[119]:39 The foothills of the Andes and the Sierras de Cordoba are vulnerable to hail.[80] This is because the Andes force humid air from the Atlantic upwards,[138] intensifying the updrafts within these thunderstorms, making hail more likely.[139] Mendoza, a city located in the Andean foothills is greatly affected by frequent hailstorms that can impact the agriculture of the region.[80] Hail storms have caused serious losses in both urban and rural areas.[138] It is estimated that wine and fruit production experience yearly losses of US$50 million and US$30 million respectively owing to hail.[138] Most of these hail storms occur in the summer although they can occur in winter, particularly in the east where warm and humid air from the north frequently come and collide with cold air from the south, leading to convective thunderstorms that can produce hail.[138]

Many storm surges caused by extratropical cyclones have been recorded along the coastal areas.[140] These storm surges are formed from strong winds that blow towards the land.[141] They are formed due to the interaction between the semi-permanent South Pacific High and a low pressure system over the Atlantic, southeast of Argentina, creating strong winds from the south or southwest.[140] The sudestada ("Southeasters"), which brings the worse storm surges, occurs when a high pressure system occurs over southern Argentina in the adjacent ocean, interacts with a low pressure over Uruguay and southern Brazil, causing strong winds from the southeast.[22][142] Storm surges have caused flooding of coastal areas, causing many inhabitants to suffer from extensive property losses and other damages.[142][143] It is also the main natural factor in the erosion of coastlines.[143] The flooding as a result of storm surges can be destructive in flat coastal areas such as the Rio de La Plata shores, and the Salado Basin.[142]

Snow storms and cold waves

Argentina regularly receives cold air from the south that can reach low latitudes owing to the influence of the Andes.[144] Cold waves are often accompanied with severe snow storms or extremely cold conditions that can have a devastating impact on its economy.[144] These snow storms and/or extremely cold conditions can partially or completely paralyze activities in large areas of Patagonia and central parts of the country.[15]:12 As well, cold conditions can lead to energy shortages during the winter months owing to increased demand.[144] Low temperatures caused by these cold waves can cause frosts that can damage plants, severely affecting agricultural production and often devastating the local economy.[145]

Climate change

Absolute maximum temperatures recorded in Argentina during the December 2013 heat wave. This heat wave was the longest and the most intense in Argentina.[14]

According to scientists, climate change is predicted to have significant effects on the climate of Argentina.[146]:30 There has been an increase in annual precipitation in almost all of Argentina, particularly in the northeast and central parts of the country.[15]:24[146]:29 Since 1970, precipitation has increased by 10% in the northeast while in parts of La Pampa Province and western parts of Buenos Aires province, it has increased by 40%.[147]:86 The highest increases in the precipitation (from the period 1960–2010) have occurred in the eastern parts of the country.[148]:15 In contrast, the Andean part of Patagonia along with the Cuyo region has seen a decrease in precipitation, leading to a reduction in river flow in the last 100 years.[148]:15 Some parts of Patagonia in the Andes have seen a 30%–50% reduction in precipitation since the middle of the 20th century.[14] In addition, since the middle of the 20th century, the 600 mm (24 in) isohyet in the south and the 800 mm (31 in) isohyet in the north, which approximately form the boundaries in which agricultural production is possible had moved more than 100 km (62 mi) to the west, expanding possible agricultural production to these areas.[147]:86,87 Although an increase in precipitation will expand agricultural production to the west in areas that were previously too dry and will benefit hydroelectric energy owing to the increase in river flow, there will be an increase the frequency of extreme precipitation events such as flooding, hail and strong winds, which can destroy these agricultural fields.[146]:29–30[147]:25 These trends were observed with an increase in the river–stream flows in most of the country excluding rivers originating from the Andes, and increase in extreme precipitation events that led to considerable socioeconomic losses.[147]:25,87 These extreme precipitation events such as flooding, and hail have occurred more frequently in the east,[146]:30 leading to the destruction of agricultural land in these areas.[147]:88 The increase in precipitation has led to more variability in precipitation from year to year in the northern parts of the country, with a higher risk of prolonged droughts, disfavoring agriculture in these regions.[147]:88

Mean temperatures have increased by 0.5 °C (0.90 °F) from 1901–2012, which is slightly lower than the global average.[14] Temperatures in the Andean part of Patagonia have increased by more than 1 °C (1.80 °F), which has caused the retreat of almost all of the glaciers.[146]:30[147]:25 This affects water availability to arid areas of the country that depend on it.[149] Higher temperatures can reduce winter snowfall, causing river flow to decrease (less water available), which can reduce hydroelectric energy production; losses of up to 40% had been observed.[147]:25 In the last half of the 20th century, the lack of snow at the highest peaks in the Cuyo region has impacted agriculture and viticulture production due to less water available in the rivers (a reduction in 50% of river flow).[150] Outside of Patagonia, mean temperatures have increased at a smaller rate since the increase in minimum temperatures is counteracted by the decrease in maximum temperatures.[147]:89 The increase in minimum temperatures in much of Argentina outside of Patagonia is attributed to the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere while the decrease in maximum temperatures is a consequence of higher precipitation, which is associated with higher cloud coverage and evaporation, processes that tend to reduce maximum temperatures north of 40oS.[147]:89[148]:9 In Patagonia, the increase in mean temperatures is more higher than the increase in minimum temperatures and is due to the change in atmospheric circulation, not just only the increase in greenhouse effect.[148]:9 Ozone depletion has played a major role in changing the atmospheric circulation patterns.[14] There has been a decrease in the days with frost, and increases in the number of hot nights throughout the country.[148]:11 Heat waves, which is defined as 3 consecutive days in which the temperature exceeds the 90th percentile with respect to the 1961–1990 period have become more common and intense between 1961–2010.[14]

Within the next 2 or 3 decades (2016–2035), mean temperatures are predicted to increase by 0.5 to 1.0 °C (0.90 to 1.80 °F) under the two scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.[14] Under the RCP 4.5 scenario, temperatures will increase by 1.0 °C (1.80 °F) throughout the country, though this increase will be more pronounced in the northwest where temperatures would increase by 2 to 2.5 °C (3.60 to 4.50 °F).[14] In the more severe RCP 8.5 scenario, the projected increased in temperatures will be higher, reaching 3.5 °C (6.30 °F) in the northwest.[14] In both scenarios, the projected warming will be more pronounced during the summer months.[14] The predicted trend for precipitation is not as clear as the one for temperature.[147]:92 In the northern and central regions, precipitation is predicted to increase while in much of central–western Argentina and Patagonia, precipitation is predicted to decrease.[14] Because Argentina is potentially vulnerable to climate change, such projected changes based on the models could enhance current or create new problems associated with climate change on Argentina.[147]:25

Agriculture will be affected by climate change.[14] The decrease in precipitation that has been observed in the Andes will be predicted to continue to decrease, affecting hydroelectric energy even more.[146]:33 Glaciers are predicted to continue to recede and melt or in some areas, disappear.[14] It is predicted that the Cuyo region could face a potential water crisis due to an increase in water demand owing to a reduction in river streamflows and higher evapotranspiration from a combination of lower precipitation and higher temperatures.[14][147]:95 Higher temperatures will cause the snow cover to melt earlier in the year, causing a raise in river flow in the spring months and a drop in summer, which is when water demand is the highest for agriculture.[14] The higher water demand would lead to higher groundwater use for irrigation which drives up the costs for irrigation, cause the deterioration in the water quality, and lead to the eventual depletion of aquifers.[14][147]:95 In northern Patagonia, a similar situation is projected in which negative impacts can occur in the future for fruit and vegetable growing owing to a reduction in available water.[14] It is predicted that between 2020–2040, the river flow in the Colorado River and the Chubut river would decrease by 20% due to more irrigation.[147]:97 Numerouse studies have indicated that the productivity of wheat, soybean and maize will not change that much by the middle of the 21st century.[14] This is because while crop production may increase in the southern and western parts of the Pampas, it will decrease in the northern parts.[14] In the north and central parts of the country, the higher temperatures projected for this region leads to higher evaporation.[147]:94 Combined with little precipitation change for this region, it is probable that it would become more arid, leading to desertification.[147]:94 In areas that normally have a dry winter, a higher evaporation would intensify droughts which would disfavour agriculture.[147]:88,94

Higher temperatures can negatively affect urban areas by affecting the provision of services such as water and energy by increasing the demand for these services.[147]:94 Heat waves, such as the one in 2013–2014 during the summer could become more frequent and intense.[150] These heat waves can impact agricultural production while in urban areas, it places more demand on energy needs.[147]:94 Intense precipitation events could become more common, leading to negative consequences.[146]:33 Argentina, with much of its population living in urban areas is vulnerable to intense precipitation events since many cities are located near a body of water (rivers, lakes and oceans), which increases the likelihood of suffering from these intense precipitation events such as flooding.[147]:95 Climate change could extend the habitats of vectors carrying tropical diseases such as malaria spread southwards.[151] In much of the coastal regions of Argentina, it will not suffer permanent flooding and loss of land associated with sea level rise since much of the coastal regions are high cliffs.[14][147]:97 Nonetheless, potential agricultural land could be lost if sea levels rise by 1 m (3.3 ft).[15]:67 Sea level rise will impact the country through an increase in the frequency of storm surges in coastal areas, including Buenos Aires and a study has suggested that Buenos Aires could be impacted significantly by sea level rise.[14][15]:67[147]:98

See also

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  110. ^ a b
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  113. ^ a b
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  117. ^
  118. ^
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  144. ^ a b c
  145. ^
  146. ^ a b c d e f g
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  148. ^ a b c d e
  149. ^
  150. ^ a b
  151. ^

Notes

  1. ^ Proyecto regional con enfoque de desarrollo territorial en los valles templados de Salta y Jujuy According to Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, the temperate valleys include the Lerma Valley, Siancas Valley in Salta Province and the Pericos Valley and the temperate valleys of Jujuy, which includes the 2 provincial capitals

Books

External links

General overview

  • Geography and Climate of Argentina
  • Argentina overview
  • Descriptions of the climate in most provinces of Argentina. Some of them include climatic statistics of selected locations in each province (Spanish)
  • Third National Communication of Argentina for Climate Change (Spanish)
  • Second National Communication of Argentina for Climate Change (Spanish)

Maps and imagery

  • Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (Spanish)
  • Climatic Atlas (Spanish)

Climate statistics

  • WMO climate normals of various stations in Argentina from the period 1961–1990
  • Datos bioclimáticos de 173 localidades argentinas (Spanish)
  • Estadísticas meteorológicas decadiales (Spanish)
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