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Wild Weather in South America

By: Christopher C. Burt, 7:30 PM GMT on August 30, 2013

Wild Weather in South America

Portions of Peru, Chile, and Argentina have experienced some wild temperature extremes this past week or so accompanied by a few rare snowfalls in the high Atacama Desert region, higher elevations of Peru as well as on the beaches of central Argentina. Floods have occurred in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

On August 29th the temperature soared to 32.6°C (90.7°F) at Bahia Blanca, Argentina, an all-time record for the month of August. This follows a reading of -7.9°C (17.8°F) recorded on August 25th, their all-time record low for the month! The site has a POR (period of record) of over 100 years. Their normal daily range of temperature during August is 9.2°C-16.0°C (49°F-61°F).



Weather conditions for the past 10 days at Bahia Blanca located on the coast of Argentina about 650 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires. According to NOAA extremes the previous record high for August was just 27.0°C (80.6°F)—but this may have been for just a particular 30-year period. Table from OGIMET.

Santa Rosa, capital of La Pampa Province, Argentina reached an amazing 34.4°C (93.9°F) also on August 29th, just three days after recording a low of -1.3°C (29.7°F) on August 26th and a frigid -3.5°C (25.7°F) on August 23rd (normal daily range of temperature here during August is 9.4°C-16.8°C/49F°-62°F). Not to be outdone in the realm of temperature extremes, Villa Reynolds (also in Argentina) rose from -9.0°C (15.8°F) on August 25th to 32.3°C (90.1°F) by August 29th. These figures are similar to the kinds of wild temperature variations we see during the spring in the U.S. Plains states.

Meanwhile, a very rare snowfall accumulated in the high desert town of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile on August 25-26. Located at 2500 m (8,250’) it is not unusual for cold temperatures to be measured here, but precipitation is very rare (being in the Atacama Desert, driest region of the world) and snowfall even rarer. The last report of snow here was in 1983. Snow was also reported on the beaches near Viedma, Argentina (about 150 miles south of Bahia Blanca) on August 23-25. Again, this was a first since the early 1980s.



Map of the 500 mb temperature anomaly for the period of August 22-25 when the rare snowfall and cold snap affected the central coastal region of Argentina. NCEP/NCAR graphic.

Although not so rare as the examples above, heavy snow accumulated in the Carabaya region of Puno Province in Peru as well. This area is located at a very high elevation (above 4000 m/13,200’) so snowfall is not uncommon. However, the recent fall was said to be the heaviest in 10 years and enough to collapse some roofs and result in the deaths of thousands of Llamas.



A roof collapse in the Carabaya region of Peru north of Lake Titicaca as a result of the recent heavy snowfall there. Photo by Julio Llerena.

Meanwhile, 171.2 mm (6.74”) of rain fell on Porto Alegre, Brazil from August 22-26, the equivalent of their normal August monthly total. Flooding caused the evacuation of 7000 from several towns in the region (State of Rio Grande do Sul).

KUDOS: Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for bringing much of the above to my attention and Stu Ostro at TWC for providing the 500 mb graphic.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Mini Blog

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

This is an interesting read, Chris. I am amazed at the wild swings in weather there. I thought that it was bad here in Texas where during the fall and spring months you could start off with light jacket and end up with a t-shirt before the day is out. It seems like there that one may be tempted to tote a suitcase to go to the nearest store. The extremes there are unreal.
Thank you for the post.
Mentioned it (on Dr. Masters blog) last weekend when i saw 3 news clips on Univision (specifically Peru).
Almost thought we'd have a 2nd (cold) cool front cross north of the equator(s).
How common is it to have floods in Washington, California, Argentina, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada, Mali, Russia, Pakistan, India, China, and the Philippines in the same week?

It seems unusual to me. Perhaps, we just did not hear about floods in China in the old days, but these seem to be some of the biggest floods in China in a century. And the Pakistan floods are displacing on the order of a million people. These make the 100,000 people displaced in Russia seem like nothing.

On a global scale is this any worse then 2010? Or, are we seeing quantum changes as the nonlinear feedback system is forced away from the mean?
Nice blog! I live in Bahía Blanca and the swing was impressive, 40.5 ºC in just over 100 hours. On sunday and monday morning there was ice on the streets, and on thursday it was summer hot.

By the way, the previous record high for August was 32.5 ºC on August 28, 1997. And the -7.9 ºC low was the coldest since July 28, 2007.
That is some crazy weather,I think it is global warming.
in the meanwhile in Antarctica it was "warm" with a max. of +9.9C at Base Esperanza.
Very strong pushes of air through the meridians like a yo-yo.
Quoting 3. Agres:
How common is it to have floods in Washington, California, Argentina, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada, Mali, Russia, Pakistan, India, China, and the Philippines in the same week?

It seems unusual to me. Perhaps, we just did not hear about floods in China in the old days, but these seem to be some of the biggest floods in China in a century. And the Pakistan floods are displacing on the order of a million people. These make the 100,000 people displaced in Russia seem like nothing.

On a global scale is this any worse then 2010? Or, are we seeing quantum changes as the nonlinear feedback system is forced away from the mean?


Russia -
The flooding has hit an area as big as Germany, France and the UK combined, say reports, amid claims that global warning is behind the natural disaster.
http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/news/h uman-and-political-toll-is-rising-just-like-the-fl oodwater-from-the-amur-river-which-has-still-not-p eaked/
Quoting 3. Agres:
How common is it to have floods in Washington, California, Argentina, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada, Mali, Russia, Pakistan, India, China, and the Philippines in the same week?

It seems unusual to me. Perhaps, we just did not hear about floods in China in the old days, but these seem to be some of the biggest floods in China in a century. And the Pakistan floods are displacing on the order of a million people. These make the 100,000 people displaced in Russia seem like nothing.

On a global scale is this any worse then 2010? Or, are we seeing quantum changes as the nonlinear feedback system is forced away from the mean?

Russia -
The flooding has hit an area as big as Germany, France and the UK combined, say reports, amid claims that global warning is behind the natural disaster.
http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/news/h uman-and-political-toll-is-rising-just-like-the-fl oodwater-from-the-amur-river-which-has-still-not-p eaked/
Sorry, ISP problems here.
Quoting 1. Some1Has2BtheRookie:
This is an interesting read, Chris. I am amazed at the wild swings in weather there. I thought that it was bad here in Texas where during the fall and spring months you could start off with light jacket and end up with a t-shirt before the day is out. It seems like there that one may be tempted to tote a suitcase to go to the nearest store. The extremes there are unreal.



I'm reminded of the cynical saying that you know you're in the midwest (U.S.) when you need both the heat and the AC on the same day.

And the Texas saying

"tain't nothin between here and the North Pole but a bobwire fence". Texas gets some wild swings also particularly in winter and spring.



weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
Thanks for the information Christopher. I have been studying a stratospheric anomaly in the southern hemisphere sub polar region at 10hPa since july 2013

THe waves have been strong


from

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseason al/temp10anim.gif


I suspect these extremes are related

Here are my study notes

http://weathercycles.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/ano ther-stratospheric-warming-event-ssw-in-the-southe rn-hemisphere-august-2013/

and

http://forum.weatherzone.com.au/ubbthreads.php/to pics/1188254/3