Climatic zones and areas of South America

Climatic zones and areas of South America

As the equator passes through the northern part of South America, the continent is mainly located in the equatorial, subequatorial and tropical climatic zones. Only the southern part of the continent is in the subtropical and temperate zones.

Equatorial air masses dominate in the equatorial climate zone during the year and an area of ​​low atmospheric pressure is formed. During the year, the air temperature does not change much and is about +24 ° С. Rains are poured daily from noon to four o’clock in the afternoon. They even used to appoint meetings, without naming time, and simply saying: “after the rain.” During the year, 1500-3000 mm of precipitation falls.

The subequatorial belt is affected by two air masses: in the summer, wet and warm equatorial,

in winter dry and hot tropical. Therefore, here, as in similar climatic zones of Africa and Australia, there is a moist period in summer and dry in winter. A wet summer here is called an inversion, a dry and hot winter – Verano.

The tropical climatic belt in South America occupies much smaller areas than in Africa and Australia. Within its boundaries are two climatic regions. A large area is occupied by a maritime region located on the territory of the Brazilian plateau. Under the influence of the South-East trade wind, over 1003 mm of precipitation falls here throughout the year. The annual amplitude of air temperature fluctuations is small. The dry and sultry continental region stretches along a narrow strip along the western coast, as if repeating the outline of the cold Peruvian current. Here, in the Atacama Desert, there are significant diurnal temperature differences. To the almost complete absence of precipitation, rarefied air, ultraviolet radiation and hurricane winds are added.

In the subtropical belt, there are also some differences. A typical subtropical Mediterranean climate is formed only on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Here, under the influence of tropical air masses, the summer is dry and hot. Winter is cooler and wetter, which is caused by the arrival of air masses from temperate latitudes. In

the east of the mainland, which is affected by the trade winds, the climate is marine, warm and humid throughout the year, inland areas – dry continental.

In the temperate zone, two types of climate are distinguished: marine in the west and continental in the east. On the western slopes of the Andes in the temperate zone, where moist sea air comes with the western winds, there is a lot of precipitation. It’s a warm winter and a cool summer. Behind the mountains on the plateau of Patagonia, there is little precipitation. They are brought only by the wind, which passes through the Andes. The annual amount of precipitation is up to 300 mm per year. Summer is warm, winter is cold. There are frosts, and sometimes snow falls.

In the Andes, climatic conditions depend on high-altitude belts. The higher in the mountains, the colder. Humidity with altitude first increases, and then decreases. At the foot of the mountains, climatic conditions correspond to the climatic conditions of the belt within which they are located. The tops of the mountains are often covered with snow and ice.


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Climatic zones and areas of South America