Friday, July 24, 2009

Global Warming, Local Cooling? Winter Hits Argentina

Whenever anyone asks me what the climate is like in Buenos Aires, I usually say it's like New York without the winter - it can get
damp and cool in June, July, and August, but it's rarely frigid. Snow is, usually, not even a once-in-a-lifetime event. Two years ago, though, it snowed in the city for the first time since 1918. Monday afternoon, when I flew out of the the international airport at Ezeiza it was balmy, but since then the weather has suddenly changed, with sub-freezing temperatures in the capital and snow in many other locations, even in southern Buenos Aires province. The Buenos Aires Herald has English-language coverage of the current storms, which includes a slide show from around the country.

Some parts of Argentina, of course, get snow every year - ski resorts such as San Carlos de Bariloche, San Martín de los Andes, and Villa la Angostura (pictured here, in a summer whiteout) depend on snowfall for their livelihood. As it happens, with concerns about swine flu and the state of the economy, there are some outstanding values on ski vacations, for those willing to take a statistically minimal risk.

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