When does it get colder in Peru?

In Peru the temperature is at its lowest during the winter months, from June to August. During this season, particularly in the Andean and coastal regions, temperatures drop significantly, with dense fog and cold breezes plaguing the inhabitants regularly. The Central and Southern Highlands experience the lowest temperatures in the Peru due to the high altitudes.

Peru’s Climatic Diversity

1. Coastal Climate

  • Desert Coastal Climate: Peru’s coast is known for its desert like climate, which prevails across much of the region. This is mainly due to the influence of the Humboldt Current, bringing cold waters from the south, creating arid, dry conditions along the coastline. However, there are parts of the shoreline where the climate tends to be more humid, due to specific geographic variations. For example, in cities like Lima, summers are warm with some humidity, while winters are often cool and dry.
  • Variations by Latitude: The northern coastal regions of Tumbes and Piura are at sea level, therefore feature a more tropical climate with warmer temperatures and higher humidity throughout the year.

Extreme cold in Lima: What will winter bring, what diseases might people be exposed to, and how to avoid them? | Senamhi | autumn | RMMN | CURRENT EVENTS | OJO

2. Highlands Climate

  • Andean or Mountain Climate: Peru experiences two main seasons; the rainy season, which runs from December to March, and the dry season, which spans from April to November. Throughout the year, there is a considerable temperature variation between daytime and night-time.
  • Altitude and Climate: As the altitude increases, the temperature will inevitably drop. Consequently, the regions located at higher elevations will often experience colder climates. And the highest peaks can experience near-sub-glacial conditions.
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3. Rainforest Climate

  • High Jungle (Cloud Forest): This area has a milder, more humid climate, with constant rainfall throughout the year and a clearly defined rainy season.
  • Low Jungle (Amazon Basin): The tropical rainforest climate defines this region, with frequent and persistent rainfall, especially in the rainy season between December and April.
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Frosts and Cold Spells in Peru

What Are Frosts and When Do They Occur?

Frosts are a common phenomenon in the Andes of Peru, especially at altitudes above 3,000 meters. During these weather events, temperatures can drop to zero degrees Celsius or lower, leading to freezing conditions.

Regions Most Affected by Frosts

Frost events are frequent in the districts of Puno, Arequipa, Tacna, Moquegua, Cusco, Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Pasco, Junín, and Apurímac. The low temperatures in these regions have a significant impact on the local communities.

What Is Cold Spells and How Do They Affect Peru?

A cold spell is a weather phenomenon that occurs when cold air currents that originate in Antarctica, reach the Amazon region of Peru. This event causes a significant drop in temperature and typically lasts between three and five days, affecting mainly rainforest areas.

The regions most affected by cold spells include Madre de Dios, Puno, Ucayali, Huánuco, Junín, Pasco, and Loreto, experiencing a temporary climate change that can impact the daily life of inhabitants, including the local wildlife.

Impact of Cold Spells on Local Temperatures

  1. Response of Flora and Fauna:
    • Fauna: Native species adapted to warm climates may experience stress when exposed to unexpected cold temperatures. This unexpected change can alter their behaviour and reduce the survival rate of more vulnerable species.
    • Flora: Tropical plants, unprepared for cold temperatures, can suffer significant damage. This has a direct impact on agriculture and natural ecosystems.
  2. Impact on the Local Population:
    • Health: Lower temperatures can increase the risk of respiratory diseases like pneumonia and high fever, as well as other conditions associated with cold weather. This risk is especially high in children and older adults.
    • Economy: Agriculture and other outdoor economic activities may suffer adverse impacts due to temporary drops in temperatures, potentially affecting the timing of harvests and the growth of crops, especially in Andean regions.

What Is the Coldest Month in Peru?

The coldest months in Peru are typically June and July, with some regions experiencing low temperatures through September.

Cold Weather in the Andean Zone

The cold hits hard in the Peruvian highlands, especially during the frost season. Due to high altitudes, this region experiences intense climate changes that significantly impact the daily lives of its inhabitants.

  1. Extreme Temperatures:
    • During the frost season, generally from June to August, nighttime temperatures can drop to 0 °C or even lower, especially in areas located at over 3,500 meters above sea level.
  2. Daily Temperature Range:
    • The Peruvian highlands are known for their wide temperature variations between day and night. In the early morning, the weather can be cool, but with the sun’s arrival, temperatures tend to rise considerably. However, once the sun sets, temperatures drop rapidly, creating cold nighttime conditions.

Coastal Region and Northern Zone

The climate along Peru’s coast and northern zone is temperate and humid, largely due to the influence of the Humboldt Current. This current cools the Pacific Ocean, creating a cooler environment along the Peruvian coast.

Consistent humidity, along with temperature fluctuations, can impact respiratory health, with asthma being a common condition that worsens due to these weather conditions.

  • High Humidity: Humidity is a constant along the coast, particularly in cities like Lima, where humidity can exceed 80% throughout the year.
  • Temperature Variations: Although temperatures are generally moderate, the combination of humidity and cold during the winter months (June to September) can make the air feel colder than it actually is.

Jungle Region

In the jungle region of Peru, also known as the Peruvian Amazon, the vegetation and crops are strongly influenced by the warm and humid climate typical of the area. However, the “friaje” phenomenon can cause significant disruptions, affecting vegetation and causing substantial descrution in this region.

  • Tropical Humid Climate: Warm weather with high humidity dominates throughout the year. With abundant rainfall, especially during the rainy season from December to April.
  • High Temperatures: Temperatures generally remain high, promoting the growth of diverse and dense vegetation.

The Coastal El Niño Phenomenon and Its Influence

The Coastal El Niño is a climatic phenomenon that occurs in the Pacific Ocean, particularly in areas near the coasts of Peru and Ecuador. It is characterized by an unusual increase in the surface water temperature, which directly influences the local weather patterns. While the global El Niño phenomenon can affect worldwide climates, the Coastal El Niño has a more limited, but still significant scope.

This phenomenon can cause notable changes in weather conditions, affecting precipitation and temperature levels, which in turn impacts both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. This can have significant socio-economic repercussions for coastal communities and beyond.