Climate of Argentina
Where is the country of Argentina located? Argentina is the second largest country in South America in terms of size. From north to south it covers an area of more than four thousand kilometers and from west to east a difference in height of no less than 7 kilometers is bridged by the Andes Mountains. With a height of 6,959 meters, Cerro Aconcagua is the highest mountain in South America. Salinas Chicas in eastern Argentina is the lowest point in South America at 38.75 meters below sea level. These enormous differences in location in relation to the equator, the differences in height and the variations in the landscape ensure that Argentina has several climatic zones. Most of Argentina has relatively dry desert and steppe climates. This is especially true of the pampas in the central part of Argentina. The Andean zones and Patagonia in the south of Argentina have mainly temperate Mediterranean and maritime climates, with a high mountain climate on the highest peaks. The highest areas have to do with eternal snow and the south also has a huge permanent ice cap: the Campo de Hielo Sur or the South Patagonian Ice Plain. The eastern part of Argentina has a combination of a number of climates. The largest part has a warm maritime climate (type Cfa according to the Köppen-Geiger classification), the area between Buenos Aires and Bahia Blanca has a moderate maritime climate (type Cfb). The northern part of Argentina has a subtropical character, with a clear dry period in the local winter months and wet summer months (December to March).
Since Argentina is located in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are exactly opposite to ours. When it’s winter with us, it’s the middle of summer in Argentina and when it’s nice summer with us, Argentina undergoes the cool winter months. The difference between the seasons is greater in terms of temperature the further south you go. The northern part of the country has relatively small differences between summer and winter. For example, the difference in average maximum temperatures in the northwest city of Salta is only nine degrees. The month of June is the coolest here with an average maximum temperature of 19 degrees, while the months of November, December and January are only nine degrees warmer with 28 degrees. You do have a clear dry period here (April to October) and a clearly wetter summer. In the rest of the country, the differences between the seasons are somewhat greater. You can sometimes see significant differences between summer and winter, especially in the number of hours of sunshine per day.
Argentina does not suffer from hurricanes. The hurricanes that arise in the Atlantic area mainly migrate to the area around the Tropic of Cancer. The country does have a number of other wind phenomena. The viento zonda (zonda wind) is a hair dryer wind that blows from the south. The depressions moving to the northeast provide a dry wind that carries a lot of dust with it. This phenomenon causes rough snowfall in the winter months, often in the form of drifting snow, which can last for hours. A Zonda wind almost always comes in the afternoon hours (between noon and 6 p.m.) and lasts on average from one to twelve hours. The term zonda sometimes also refers to a warm and humid wind blowing from the north across the pampas. This warm wind is also often called sondo.
The rainfall varies greatly in Argentina. The southwest and west of the country are markedly dry, with precipitation amounts that average between 200 and 400 millimeters per year. In the south and in the mountains of the Andes, a fair amount of this falls in the form of snow. Tierra del Fuego, in the extreme south, has a clearly wetter character with an average of four hundred to eight hundred millimeters of precipitation per year, just like the extreme west of Patagonia. As you move northeast from central Argentina, you’ll see precipitation levels increase rapidly. The subtropical northeast, along the border areas with Brazil and Paraguay, is much wetter than the rest of the country with almost two thousand millimeters of precipitation (all in the form of rain). This precipitation, in combination with higher temperatures, causes Not only the amounts of precipitation are very different in Argentina, the distribution of rainfall per month can also differ considerably per region. For example, the capital Buenos Aires has a fairly even amount of rain per month. The winter months register an average of about 60-65 mm per month, while the autumn (March, April) has to process almost double that. The northwest is a lot more grim in terms of precipitation. The winter months are almost completely dry, the number of days with rain can be counted on one hand. In summer, however, large amounts of rain fall, with an average of 150 to 200 millimeters per month in the wettest months of January and February. The dry areas in central Argentina have an almost equal amount of millimeters of rain per month. This varies depending on the region,
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Argentina
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Argentina? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. It is virtually impossible to indicate one travel period as the best time to travel to Argentina. This South American country is so extremely diverse in terms of weather and climate that it differs a bit per region when it is best to travel to Argentina. You can imagine this if you know that Argentina stretches from north to south over a length of no less than 3700 kilometers. As a result, the country has many different climate types that vary from subtropical and even tropical conditions in the north of the country to sub-Antarctic weather conditions in the south of the country.
Good to know is that the seasons in Argentina are reversed compared to the Netherlands. That’s because Argentina is in the southern hemisphere. It’s summer in Argentina when it’s winter with us and it’s winter in Argentina when it’s summer with us. Most travelers therefore choose the period from December to March as the travel period to visit Argentina. Because the month of November is also fine in many places within the country, we would like to indicate the period November to March as the best travel time for Argentina. These are the months when the weather is good to excellent in most of the country. It is also the period in which Patagonia, which is popular among travelers, is easily accessible. During the local winter it is very cold there. In some areas, summer means more rainfall. For example, the summer months in the northwestern city of Salta can be called downright wet. Winter is the better time to travel there, because it is considerably drier and the subtropical highland climate ensures quite pleasant temperatures.