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Coldest May in 74 years in Chile

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A customer is handed a cup of hot coffee by a seller in Santiago on Friday, where temperatures have dropped sharply in recent days. Photo: Esteban Felix / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 18.05.2024 03:39:35

Weather: In the capital Santiago and along the coast, temperatures have dropped to near freezing. The country’s meteorological institute reports that the low temperatures have now made the month of May the coldest on record since 1950.

It is an unusual series of polar air masses that have moved north from Antarctica to the South American continent, which this week has enveloped Chile in a cold wave. Just a few days ago you could walk around in a T-shirt.

– Some of the longest-lasting cold fronts ever have been recorded in recent days, and it is also among the earliest cold fronts that have occurred before winter has arrived, says climatologist Raul Cordero at the University of Santiago.

– Typically, a streak of cold air from Antarctica tends to drive the temperatures below zero only from June onwards, but not in May, he says.

The government in Chile has issued a warning and stepped up aid to homeless people struggling to survive on the street in the low temperatures. The mountain peaks in the Andes are covered in snow, and in parts of Santiago, which is around 500 meters above sea level, snow has also fallen, which has led to power cuts in many places in the last week.

– Winter came early this year, says Mercedes Aguayo, a street vendor who sells gloves and hats in the capital.

The cold wave has also taken parts of Argentina and Paraguay by surprise in the past week.

(© NTB)

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