This entry is in response to a few emails I’ve received asking about the weather in Santiago. I thought today would be a perfect day to talk about the summer heat.
I know all of you back home are cursing me because it’s -3000 degrees below zero with the windchill, but allow me a moment to complain about the 90+ degrees (F) we’re experiencing today…
Okay, I’m done.
Being from Vermont I’m not really used to constant heat. There’s a saying from my beloved home state that goes, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” And it’s true. In the summer, we could have hot, humid days, or rain, or chillier days, or cloudy days or dry days. We have thunderstorms, sometimes with hail, and the occasional snowstorm in May. We could even have all of the above in one day (okay, maybe not snow, but the rest).
Summer in Santiago, however, looks something like this, all the time:
The saving grace of Santiago’s summers though, is that the nights cool down (as you can see above). Taking an evening stroll is quite lovely starting around 7:30 or 8:00pm.
The heat is pretty constant from mid-December until mid-March, varying a bit depending on the year. I remember one year that it was hot until the end of May and then it got cold, no fall, just hot summer then winter. This spring (November-December) was a bit strange, a little colder than normal and rainy.
However, if there’s one thing you can count on in Santiago, it’s a hot, dry, sunny summer.
Another thing I should mention is the strength of the sun. It’s stronger down here. I don’t know if it’s because we’re closer to the hold in the ozone layer or what, but use sunscreen. I put it on religiously every day, and I work inside. If you go to the beach, bring an umbrella and reapply often. When I was studying abroad a girl I was with got 2nd degree burns on her body because she refused to put on sunscreen all day (she learned her lesson).