Uruguay enjoys a relatively uniform climate nationwide and the country is located entirely within the temperate zone. In Uruguay, seasonal variations are pronounced, but extremes in temperature are rare and tempered by the country’s abundance of water, high humidity and fog. The absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, makes all locations vulnerable to high winds and rapid changes in weather as fronts or storms sweep across the country. A such, in Uruguay seasons are fairly well defined, and in most of the country spring is usually damp, cool, and windy; summers are warm; autumns are mild; and winters are chilly and damp. Northwestern Uruguay, however, is farthest from large bodies of water and therefore has warmer summers and milder and drier winters than the rest of the country.
Average highs and lows in summer (January) in Montevideo are 28°C and 17°C, respectively, with an absolute maximum of 43°C; comparable numbers for Artigas in the northwest are 33°C and 18°C, with the highest temperature ever recorded 42°C. Winter (July) average highs and lows in Montevideo are 14°C and 6°C, respectively, although the high humidity makes the temperatures feel colder; the lowest temperature registered in Montevideo is -4°C. Averages in July of a high of 18°C and a low of 7°C in Artigas confirm the milder winters in northwestern Uruguay, but even here temperatures have dropped to a subfreezing -4°C. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, and annual amounts increase from southeast to northwest. Montevideo averages 950 mm annually, and Artigas receives 1,235 m in an average year. Rainfall in Uruguay is a result of the passage of cold fronts in winter, with frequent summer thunderstorms.
Mean annual mean temperature for Uruguay to be 17.5°C, with average monthly temperatures ranging between 17°C (April) and 11°C (July). Mean annual precipitation is 1,203.8 mm, with steady rainfall occurring throughout the year.
- Since the 1960s, the Uruguay has experienced warmer temperatures, with an average increase of 0.5°C to 0.8°C observed across the country and specifically during summer seasons.
- A lower frequency of frost days has also been observed to have reduced. Heat waves are increasingly frequent and their length shows a high year-to-year variability and this trend is expected to continue in the duration and frequency of heat waves.
- Over the last century, Uruguay has observed a substantial change in rainfall, with significant increases observed over the past 30 years. Increases in rainfall of 200 mm has been observed and the most rainfall has been experienced along the Atlantic coast.
This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.