One of the driest places on the planet got a wintry blast this week. The Atacama Desert region in Chile was coated with its heaviest snow cover in nearly two decades, the BBC reported. An estimated 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) piled up in the normally arid region.
A cold front moved through the region this week, bringing colder than usual weather, even though it’s the Southern Hemisphere winter, to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. The temperature in Santiago, Chile, plunged to minus 8.5 degrees Celsius(17.6 degrees Fahrenheit) on July 6. Authorities rescued 36 people that were stranded by the snow on a bus for hours, according to local news reports.
The Atacama Desert is a 966 kilometers (600-mile-long) plateau in South America. It is one of the driest places on Earth, to the point of near sterility. This condition is due to a rain shadow — a dry area — on the leeward side of the Chilean Coast Range and a cold offshore current that helps cap any moisture from breaking through. Some weather stations in the area have never received rain.
But the cold polar wave was able to punch through the cap, bringing precipitation in the form of snow across the region. So far, 10 people have died in Argentina from the cold polar wave. (OAP)
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Your support makes a difference
Dear valued reader,
We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.
The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.
If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.
Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Other support options include Patreon pledges, one-off payments using PayPal and purchasing products from our webshop.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.