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Climate - Uruguay

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack

United States version (°F - inches - feet). See also the metric version (°C - mm - meters)

Flag - Uruguay

Map - Uruguay

In Uruguay the climate is temperate, with hot summers, and quite rainy throughout the year. In most of the country, the average temperatures are similar to those of the Mediterranean coasts, while in the far north they are a little higher. Compared with the Mediterranean climate, however, here even summer is rainy, due to thunderstorms, which, however, do not reduce by much the sunshine hours. In addition, in Uruguay the clashes of air masses are more intense and therefore the temperature variations are higher than in the more sheltered Mediterranean Sea.
Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons in Uruguay are clearly reversed compared with Europe or North America.
The annual precipitation hovers around 40/43 inches in the south (see Montevideo), while it's higher in the north-central, where it's around 47 in, but in the far north it reaches 60 in.
Here is the average precipitation in Montevideo.
Average precipitation Montevideo
Montevideo J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 3.4 4.0 4.1 3.4 3.5 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.7 4.3 3.5 3.3 43.4
Days 8 8 8 8 9 9 10 8 8 10 9 8 103

Winter is fairly mild, but it can be windy and unstable, especially in the south. In winter, snowfalls are very rare, even though outbreaks of the cold wind called Pampero can occur throughout the country, with possible slight frosts at night, from May to September.
Summer is hot, the sun often shines, but in the afternoon thunderstorms can break out, more likely in the north. Heat waves are possible, with peaks of 100/105 °F, from December to March in the south-central, and also in November in the far north.
Spring and autumn are mild, but the weather is often unstable.
The amount of sunshine is good from November to March, while in winter, there are periods of bad weather, in which the sky is cloudy, alternating with sunny days.
In the capital, Montevideo, the average temperature goes from 50 °F in July to 73.5 °F in January. In summer the heat is tempered by breezes (more than in Buenos Aires, located on the other bank of the Rio de la Plata, but more to the interior). As seen in the table, rainfall is fairly constant throughout the year, but with a relative maximum in autumn (March-April) and spring (October-November). Even in other areas of Uruguay, March is often the rainiest month, but the highest records of rainfall have occurred often in the month of April.
Here are the average temperatures of Montevideo.
Montevideo average temperatures
Montevideo J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 64 64 61 55 50 46 45 46 48 53 58 61
Max (°F) 83 82 78 72 65 59 59 61 64 69 75 80

In the far north, the climate is warmer: in Artigas the average of June and July doesn't go below 55 °F, while in January it reaches 79 °F.


For swimming, the Atlantic Ocean is a bit cool, but still acceptable, from January to March: at Punta del Este it reaches 72 °F in January and March, and 73 °F in February.
Sea temperature Punta del Este
Punta del Este J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°F) 72 73 72 68 63 57 54 54 55 59 64 68

When to go

In Uruguay, the sunniest season is summer (which in the north runs from November to March and in the south from December to February), but it can be hot and has the risk of afternoon thunderstorms. Winter is mild, but sometimes it can be unstable, rainy and windy, especially in the south, and sometimes even cold. Therefore, the intermediate seasons are preferable: autumn (March and April in the south, April and May in the north), and spring (October and November in the south, September and October in the north). Autumn, however, is often more rainy, so we prefer spring. If you do not suffer from the heat, you want more sunshine and maybe you want to spend some time at the beach, you will choose summer.
For a beach vacation, summer is clearly the best period, especially January and February.

What to pack

In winter (June to August): clothes for spring and autumn, sweater, warm jacket, raincoat.
In summer (December to March): light clothing, a sweatshirt for the evening, umbrella or light raincoat.

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Metric version (°C)
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