Peru is a large country with a long Pacific coastline. The central portion includes the great mountain and plateau region of the Andes with many peaks over 20,000 feet together with extensive plateau areas between 10,000 and 14,000 feet.
The coastal district has an unusual type of dry desert climate, caused by the northward-flowing cold waters of the Humboldt current. These cold waters maintain low temperatures for a tropical latitude right up to the equator and there are very small differences from month to month. The dryness is so marked that in some places several years have passed without appreciable rain.
However, in some northern coastal districts, there is a remarkable change of weather for a few weeks every few years. The temperature rises and torrential rain may fall for those weeks causing widespread damage. This is the well-known El Nino effect and is most likely to occur in December and January. This coastal strip is prone to extensive low cloud, fog and drizzle (called garua). At Lima, which is largely representative of the coastal strip, daily average maximum temperatures range from 19 °C (66 °F) in July and August, to 28 °C (82 °F) in summer. The city has just 1-2 hours of sunshine each day on average in winter rising to 6-7 hours in summer. The climate of the central portion is very similar in many ways to that described for the equivalent area of Brazil.
Last updated: 17 December 2013