Stretched over 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) from north to south, Argentina has a diverse range of climates, spanning from the almost tropical climate of the north, to the temperate climate of Buenos Aires and the Pampas, to the cold and windy climate of Patagonia, and finally to the subpolar climate of Tierra del Fuego. Moreover, there is the cold mountainous climate of the Andes, arid in the northern and central part, and cold and snowy in the south.
Rainfall is abundant in the north-east, while snowfalls are frequent in the extreme south. In the south-central, in the Pampas and in Patagonia, there is a vast arid area.
Being that it's located in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons in Argentina are reversed in comparison with North America or Europe.

Index


Subtropical climate



Area with a subtropical climate
In the northernmost part of Argentina, the climate is subtropical, definitely hot in summer and pleasantly warm in winter. In the western part, the Gran Chaco receives moderate rainfall, from 500 to 1,000 millimeters (20 to 40 inches) per year, with a pronounced dry period in winter.

Rivadavia

In Rivadavia, in the northwest, in the province of Salta, the heat is intense from November to February, with average highs generally around 34/36 degrees Celsius (93/97 °F), and also with the highest peaks of the entire South American continent: the highest recorded temperature is as high as 48 °C (118.5 °F)! In winter, from May to mid-August, the daytime temperatures drop to around 23/25 °C (73/77 °F). However, the daily temperature range can be remarkable, so it can get hot even in winter, but it can sometimes get cold at night, especially when the Pampero blows, i.e. the cold wind coming from the southern lands.
Here are the average temperatures of Rivadavia.
Rivadavia - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)212119161211101114181921
Max (°C)363433282523242831323435
Min (°F)707066615452505257646670
Max (°F)979391827773758288909395

In summer, the rains occur in the form of short showers, and are moderate from December to March, while in winter it almost never rains. Here is the average precipitation.
Rivadavia - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)12011010055171063154080115671
Prec.(in)4.74.33.92.20.70.40.20.10.61.63.14.526.4
Days10910732102591068

Although the winter is dry, the sun in Rivadavia is so frequent, while in summer, it shines quite often, despite the fact that it is the rainy season. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Rivadavia - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours898664577888

Further east, in Formosa, the daytime temperatures are slightly lower, but the climate is much more humid and rainy. In fact, 1,250 millimeters (49 inches) of rain fall per year, and it can rain even in winter, albeit less than in summer: in July and August, respectively 40 and 30 mm (1.6 and 1.2 in) of rain fall on average. In the province of Misiones, east of Paraguay and of the Paraná River, the rains are even more abundant, so much so that this area is covered by forests.

Iguazu

At the Iguazu falls, nearly 2,000 mm (78.5 in) of rain fall per year, while in Oberá, the rains reach 2,300 mm (90.5 in). In this north-eastern portion, there is no dry season, and the rains (which occur mainly in the form of downpours or thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening, and therefore do not affect much the amount of sunshine, which remains good) are abundant throughout the year.
Here is the average precipitation at the Iguazu falls.
Iguazu - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)1751751152001851551301251351802101351920
Prec.(in)6.96.94.57.97.36.15.14.95.37.18.35.375.6
Days1112810109889101110116

In this north-eastern area, the summer temperatures are a bit lower than in the north-west. Here are the average temperatures at the Iguazu Falls.
Iguazu - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)202019171311111213161819
Max (°C)323131272421222425283031
Min (°F)686866635552525455616466
Max (°F)908888817570727577828688

At the Iguazu Falls, the sun does not shine too often, since clouds and rains are possible all year round; however, in the hot period, from November to March, there are about 7/8 hours of sunshine a day.
Iguazu - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours777665555687

Iguazù falls

The Iguazu waterfalls are more spectacular from January to May, when the river that feeds them reaches its highest level.
If you want to visit this northern subtropical area, since the main purpose should be to avoid the heat (either the intense but dry heat of the west or the sultry heat of the east), you can choose winter, from May to August, keeping in mind that it can sometimes get cold at night, that in the east sometimes it can rain, and that the sky may be cloudy.

Humid temperate climate



Area having a temperate humid climate
In this area, which is located to the south of the Gran Chaco, and includes the estuary of the Rio de la Plata River, the climate is temperate, with mild winters and hot summers. Here the rainfall ranges from 500 to 1,200 mm (20 and 47 in) per year. Summer is moderately rainy everywhere because of afternoon showers and thunderstorms, while winter is rainy in the eastern part and drier in the western one. It follows that the rainiest part, the one with no dry season, is the eastern one, towards the sea and the border with Uruguay.

Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, the temperatures are reminiscent of the Mediterranean climate, the daily average ranging from 11 °C (52 °F) in July, with highs around 15 °C (59 °F), to 25 °C (77 °F) in January, with highs around 30 °C (87 °F). But in contrast with the Mediterranean climate, here it rains even in summer, although in the form of afternoon showers and thunderstorms, which do not decrease too much the sunshine duration. Moreover, the changes in temperature are bigger than in the Mediterranean because there are no obstacles to both cold air masses from the south (which may cause light frosts at night from May to September) and to warm air masses from the north, so much so that some days can be warm even in winter, with peaks of around 25/30 °C (77/86 °F). In the capital, it almost never snows: snow accumulation occurs a couple of times per century. Rainfall is well distributed throughout the year: there are 9/10 days with rainfall per month from October to April (when as mentioned, the rains mainly occur in the form of showers or thunderstorms) and 6/8 days per month from May to September.
Here is the average precipitation.
Buenos Aires - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)12012515510590505565801401301051215
Prec.(in)4.74.96.14.13.522.22.63.15.55.14.147.8
Days99998678710109101

As regards to the temperature, the best times to visit Buenos Aires are spring and autumn (October-November and March-April), though sometimes they can be very rainy: historically, the rainfall records have been set in March, April and October. All in all, the best time is usually spring, from late September to early December. Here are the average temperatures.
Buenos Aires - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)201917141087910131618
Max (°C)302926231916151719232528
Min (°F)686663575046454850556164
Max (°F)868479736661596366737782

In Buenos Aires, the sun regularly shines in summer, while in winter, there is an alternation between sunny periods and cloudy and rainy periods.
Buenos Aires - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours997764566789

The sea in much of Argentina is cool to swim in. In fact, on the eastern side of South America, a cold current, known as the Falkland Current, flows up to the latitude of Mar del Plata, where the sea temperature reaches 20 °C (68 °F) in February and 19 °C (66 °F) in January and March. It goes much better in Buenos Aires, where the sea is warm enough for swimming in January and February, as you can see in the following table.
Buenos Aires - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)232322191613111011141821
Temp (°F)737372666155525052576470

Buenos Aires

In Rosario, 270 kilometers (168 miles) north-west of Buenos Aires, the weather is pretty much the same as in the capital.
In Cordoba, the average temperatures are quite similar to those of Buenos Aires, since the city is located north of the capital but also farther from the sea and at 470 meters (1,500 feet) above sea level. However, the diurnal temperature range in Cordoba are higher than in the capital, and the winter is definitely drier. The average temperature ranges from 10 °C (50 °F) in July to 24 °C (75 °F) in January.

Arid climate



Arid climate
In this vast area, encompassing the western and arid part of the Pampa (above the dashed line) and most of Patagonia (south of the dashed line), the climate is arid, semi-arid or desert. This happens both because of the distance from the sea and because of the Andean chain, which blocks humid winds coming from the Pacific (the southern part the Atlantic coast is arid as well because at these latitudes the westerlies prevail, and also because in the sea a cold current flows, which reduces evaporation). Clearly, the temperatures vary with latitude, but some features remain similar: the temperature range between night and day is usually considerable (particularly in areas distant from the sea); the wind, either cold or hot, can sweep the vast plains, and it's also capable of causing dust storms; temperature variations can be considerable; the sun frequently shines in summer, while in the coldest period, from May to September, the sky can be cloudy.

Mendoza

In Mendoza, located at 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, at the foot of the Andes and not far from Mount Aconcagua, the daily average temperature ranges from a low of 8 °C (46.5 °F) in June and July to a high of 25 °C (77 °F) in December and January. During the day, the temperature may reach or exceed 30 °C (86 °F) even in winter, while at night, it can slightly drop below freezing from April to September. Here are the average temperatures.
Mendoza - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)1818151163246121518
Max (°C)323127231916151820262932
Min (°F)646459524337363943545964
Max (°F)908881736661596468798490

In Mendoza, only 225 mm (9 in) of rain fall per year, with a maximum in summer, between December and March. Here is the average precipitation.
Mendoza - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)48383513841251381523223
Prec.(in)1.91.51.40.50.30.20.50.20.50.30.60.98.8
Days76532242434446

In Mendoza, the sun frequently shines in summer, and quite often even in winter, as is normal in a dry climate.
Mendoza - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours10987666789109

Patagonia

Patagonia, the southern region of Argentina (as well as of Chile), begins approximately at the 40th parallel, and most of it is located in the arid climate zone we are dealing with here, but at this latitude the weather is cool and windy; winds are often strong and are able to increase the feeling of cold.

Patagonia

Puerto Madryn

In Puerto Madryn, on the Atlantic coast, at a latitude of 42° S, the daily average temperature ranges from 7 °C (45 °F) in June and July to 20 °C (68 °F) in January. In summer, there can be short heat waves, with peaks above 35 °C (95 °F). The sun often shines from November to March.
Puerto Madryn - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)13121175222571012
Max (°C)272723211612121517202327
Min (°F)555452454136363641455054
Max (°F)818173706154545963687381

Here, the rains are very scarce (just 170 mm or 6.5 inches per year), and in fact the landscape is semi-desert, with no trees, and only some xerophile shrubs. In winter, however, it can snow and freeze. Here is the average precipitation.
Puerto Madryn - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)161417111911151315171314175
Prec.(in)0.60.60.70.40.70.40.60.50.60.70.50.66.9
Days34435554543449

In Puerto Madryn, the sun frequently shines in summer, while in winter, cloudy days are a bit more frequent.
Puerto Madryn - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours998644456889

In Puerto Madryn, the sea is cold: the water temperature peakes in February with 17 °C (63 °F) (so it is not recommended for swimming), and hits a low of 9 °C (48 °F) in July and August.

Tierra del Fuego



Area with a subpolar climate
In the southernmost part of Patagonia and in Tierra del Fuego, the climate is cold oceanic, that is, with average temperatures close to freezing in winter and around 10 °C (50 °F) in summer (or even subpolar where the average in summer drops below this value, as happens in the Isla de los Estados). Precipitation, which at this latitude often occurs in the form of snow, is higher than in the arid zone, both because at this latitude the Andes in the west are definitely low (therefore the humid currents from the Pacific Ocean can penetrate inland) and because this region can be affected by cold and wet winds from the nearby Antarctic Ocean. Winter is not so cold because these cold winds, which at times can lower the temperatures to several degrees below freezing, are replaced after a short time by the westerlies, which are less cold. However, the wind almost constantly blows, which can increase the feeling of cold. Summer, from November to March, is the best time to visit this southern part of Argentina: temperatures are cool, even cold at night, but tolerable, at least when the wind doesn't blow.

Ushuaia

In Ushuaia, located in a fjord at a latitude of 54 degrees south, the average in June and July is just 1.5 °C (35 °F), while in summer, the average reaches 10.5 °C (51 °F) in January. At night, the temperature can drop below freezing throughout the year: to -1/-2 °C (28/30 °F) between December and March, and to as low as -10/-15 °C (5/15 °F) from May to August. Here are the average temperatures.
Ushuaia - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)65420-1-1-11245
Max (°C)1514121065569111313
Min (°F)434139363230303034363941
Max (°F)595754504341414348525555

Rainfall is frequent in summer as well as snowfall in winter, although the amount is not high, around 500 mm (20 in) per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Ushuaia - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)303550505555456040353540530
Prec.(in)1.21.4222.22.21.82.41.61.41.41.620.9
Days131314121112121113121211146

In Ushuaia, the sky is often cloudy, so the sun is seen quite rarely all year round.
Ushuaia - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours554321234565

In Tierra del Fuego, the sea is cold all year round, as we can see in the following table.
Ushuaia - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)888877666677
Temp (°F)464646464545434343434545

Ushuaia

Andes



Climate of the Andes
In the very long Andean band, which crosses Argentina in the western part from north to south, the climate becomes progressively colder with increasing altitude, but also with latitude: the more you go to the south, the lower the temperature at a given altitude, and the lower the height in which eternal snows begin.
The Andean zone can be divided into two distinct areas, separated by the dotted line on the map. North of the 40th parallel, the climate is arid, while south of this latitude, it is Alpine, and snowfalls can be abundant.

In the central and northern provinces, the Andes are desert even at high altitudes, in fact they are desert also on the western side, i.e. in Chile, so there is no moisture that might pass over the ridge. In the north, above 3,000 meters (10,000 feet), night frosts can be intense from April to October, but during the day, when the sun shines, the temperature goes above freezing, so the daily temperature range is remarkable. This happens because at high altitudes, at subtropical or tropical latitudes, the sun is very strong. You have to climb the rare peaks above 6,000 meters (19,700 feet), like Nevado Queva, to find some snowfields, where the rare snowfalls remain on the ground because of the cold.

At lower altitudes, where moisture comes from the eastern plain, the rains increase.

Salta

In Salta, which is located almost at the Tropic, at 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) of altitude, 750 mm (29.5 inches) of rain fall per year, but it almost never rains from May to September, although at this time the sky is often overcast. Rainfall occurs from December to March, usually in the form of downpours or thunderstorms, which don't reduce too much the summer sunshine. Here is the average precipitation.
Salta - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)18016512035934472665140755
Prec.(in)7.16.54.71.40.40.10.20.20.312.65.529.7
Days161513821112491486

The average temperature ranges from 11.5 °C (52.5 °F) in June to 22 °C (72 °F) in January: so, the climate at this latitude is mild even at 1,200 meters (4,000 feet), although there may be slight frosts at night from May to September. Here are the average temperatures.
Salta - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)1716151274357121415
Max (°C)272725232019202323272828
Min (°F)636159544539374145545759
Max (°F)818177736866687373818282

In Salta, the sunniest season (compared to the length of the days) is winter, while in summer, the sky is often cloudy.
Salta - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours553444665665

Aconcagua

In Argentina, there are several very high peaks, among which Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the entire American continent with its 6,962 meters (22,841 feet). At the latitude of Aconcagua (32 degrees south), we find perennial snows above 4,000 meters (13,000 feet), while in the area of Cerro Torre (around 49 degrees south), they begin at 1,500 meters (5,000 feet), although the Viedma Glacier, which enters in the lake of the same name because of gravity, comes down to just 250 meters (800 feet). In the extreme south, eternal snows are found above a few hundred meters (a thousand feet) of altitude.
At the latitude of Mount Aconcagua, precipitation (which is more frequent in winter and therefore usually occurs in the form of snow) at high altitudes amounts to about 250/300 mm (10/12 inches) per year, like in semi-desert climates. You have to go to Patagonia, more or less at the 40th parallel south (which, as mentioned, is indicated by a dotted line on the map) to find some greenery along the Andean slopes of Argentina.
In this area located south of the 40th parallel, the cities at the foot of the mountains are quite rainy even where to the east there's a desert (as happens in Patagonia). In addition, the wind coming down from the mountains (called zonda and similar to the chinook of the Rocky Mountains or to the föhn of the Alps) can cause rapid increases in temperature.

Bariloche

In San Carlos de Bariloche, 850 meters (2,800 feet) above sea level, 800 mm (31.5 in) of rain (or snow) fall per year, while 200 km (125 miles) to the east, in Maquinchao, precipitation drops to 200 mm (8 in). Here is the average precipitation in Bariloche.
Bariloche - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)2020305513514013011560402530800
Prec.(in)0.80.81.22.25.35.55.14.52.41.611.231.5
Days55681515151410865112

The average temperature in Bariloche ranges from 2.5 °C (36.5 °F) in July to 14 °C (57 °F) in January.
Bariloche - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)66421-1-1-1-1145
Max (°C)222219151076811141720
Min (°F)434339363430303030343941
Max (°F)727266595045434652576368

In Bariloche, the sun shines regularly in summer, while in winter, between one disturbance and another, there can be some sunny days.
Bariloche - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours1110864445681011

On Cerro Catedral, 2,400 meters (7,800 feet) above sea level and not far from Bariloche, the average temperature drops below freezing from June to September, and reaches 7.5 °C (45.5 °F) in January. The wind is often strong throughout the year. Snowfalls during winter are abundant, but sometimes it can snow even in summer. In this area, the landscape reminds that of the Alps, and there are renowned ski resorts, where you can go skiing when in North America or Europe it's the summer.
In the southern Andes, there are vast glaciers and lakes of glacial origin, whose banks have the same shape as the fjords.

Best Time



Unfortunately, you can not find a single period in which the weather is very good throughout the country. However, since in the extreme south the best period is the austral summer, from December to March, you can choose this period for the rest of the country as well, keeping in mind that at this time, in the north it will be very hot. All in all, November, a spring month, can also be a good compromise for most of the country, although in the far north, it can already be a hot month.

What to pack



In winter (June to August): in the north, at the Iguazu Falls and in the Gran Chaco, bring clothes for spring and autumn (light for the day), a sweatshirt or sweater and a jacket for the evening. In the center-north and in Buenos Aires, bring warm clothes, such as a sweater, a jacket, and an umbrella. In Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, bring very warm clothes, such as a down jacket, a warm hat, gloves, a scarf, a rain jacket, and comfortable shoes. In the Andes: in the northern part, clothes for spring and autumn for the day, a warm jacket and a hat for the evening, sunscreen and sunglasses; in the southern part, warm clothes, such as a down jacket, a scarf, gloves, and hiking boots.

In summer (December to February): in the north, at the Iguazu Falls and in the Gran Chaco, bring lightweight clothing of natural fibers, a light sweater and a light raincoat for thunderstorms, and a sun hat. In the center-north and in Buenos Aires, bring summer clothes, a sweatshirt for the evening, and possibly a light raincoat for thunderstorms. In Patagonia, clothes for spring and autumn, a jacket for the evening, a sweater, and comfortable shoes. In Tierra del Fuego, warm clothes, such as a sweater, a raincoat, a jacket, and boots; be ready to remove the outer layer in mild days. In the Andes: in the northern part, clothes for spring and autumn during the day, a warm jacket for the evening, sunscreen and sunglasses; in the southern part, a down jacket, a scarf, gloves, and hiking boots.