Argentina and Uruguay: Unprecedented late-summer heat
17 March 2023
Argentina and Uruguay
Unprecedented late-summer heat
A heatwave has swept across large parts of Argentina and also Uruguay, breaking record temperatures.
Argentina is currently suffering from a heat wave that is unusually late in the summer in the southern hemisphere. On Saturday 11th March, the peak temperature in Buenos Aires was 39.6C, the highest value in March in over 100 years.
There has been no respite at all, with even overnight temperatures not dropping below 28C; temperatures which actually correspond to the highs for this time of year.
In the Gran Chaco region, in the north of the country, as well as on the border with Uruguay, peak values of 40C were recorded. The airport in Gualeguaychu reported 40.5C, also on Saturday 11th.
According to the National Meteorological Service (SMN), this is the hottest summer since 1961. The first ten days of March saw temperatures 8 to 10C above average, with especially high values recorded in central and eastern parts of the country.
Because of the high temperatures, the electricity supply collapsed, following the soaring demand for people to turn on air conditioners. In Greater Buenos Aires, electricity failed in about 75,000 households.
In recent days, a low pressure system has reached the east of the country with downpours and thunderstorms. This has fortunately caused temperatures to drop, however given the humidity, it still feels unbearable at the lower temperatures.