Climate of Venezuela
The Climate of Venezuela is characterized for being tropical and isothermal as a result of its geographical location near the Equator, but because of the topography and the dominant wind direction, several climatic types occur which can be the same as found in temperate latitudes, and even polar regions. Latitude exerts little influence on the Venezuelan climate, but the altitude changes it dramatically, particularly the temperature, reaching values very different according to the presence of different thermal floors.
- 1 General climate
- 2 Climate zones according to altitude
- 3 Climate zones according to Köppen
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
While the coastal cities of Maracaibo, Barcelona, Porlamar and Maiquetia can get extremely hot, cities located at valleys such as Mérida, Caracas, Los Teques and San Cristobal have cooler climates, and the highest towns of Mucuchies and Apartaderos have cold (tundra) climates.
The hottest part of Venezuela is the northwest (Paraguana Peninsula and Guajira Peninsula), where temperatures of more than 38 °C (100 °F) are frequently recorded. The coldest part in the country are located in the highest areas of the Cordillera de Mérida, where temperatures lower than −2 °C (28 °F) are recorded. The Venezuelan Coastal Range and Guiana Highlands have average temperatures from 25 °C (77 °F) to 11 °C (52 °F), while Los Llanos average temperature is over 23 °C (73 °F).
The highest temperature recorded was 42 °C (108 °F) in Machiques, and the lowest temperature recorded was −11 °C (12 °F), it has been reported from an uninhabited high altitude at Páramo de Piedras Blancas (Mérida state), even though no official reports exist, lower temperatures in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Mérida are known.
Climate zones according to altitude
This climate is characterized by very hot temperatures above 26 °C (79 °F), with precipitations that ranges from dry (less than 300 mm) to pluvial (more than 3300 mm) conditions. This climate can be found in areas below 300 m in sedimentary basins and lowlands such as Los Llanos, Orinoco Delta, Maracaibo Basin, Orinoco Basin, coastal plains and islands; it comprises almost all the country. This climate zone is present in cities like Maracaibo, Punto Fijo, Ciudad Guayana, Porlamar, Puerto La Cruz, Barinas, Tucupita, Cumaná, Maturin, Anaco, Ciudad Bolívar, Cabimas, El Vigía and others.
Warm climate can be found between 300 and 650 m. It's characterized by temperatures from 23 °C (73 °F) to 26 °C (79 °F) and precipitations that ranges from scarcely rainy (300 – 700 mm) to pluvial (more than 3300 mm) conditions. This climate can be found in lower foothills and plateaus in the Guiana Highlands, Venezuelan Coastal Range, Coro region and Venezuelan Andes. Cities which have this climate zone are Barquisimeto, Maracay, Valencia, Guarenas-Guatire, San Juan de Los Morros, Charallave, Valera, Barinitas, San Antonio del Táchira, Quibor and others.
This climate features temperatures between 18 °C (64 °F) to 23 °C (73 °F) and precipitations that ranges from scarcely rainy (300 – 700 mm) to pluvial (more than 3300 mm) conditions. It can be found in the country's mountainous areas between 650 and 1,350-1,600 m This climate zone is present in cities like Mérida, San Cristóbal, Caracas, Sanare, Villa de Cura, Ejido, Trujillo, Escuque, Rubio, Tovar, Boconó, Duaca, Bejuma, Los Teques, Nirgua, Santa Elena de Uairen, among others.
Mild or Temperate climate can be found in the mountainous areas between 1,350-1,600 to 2,400 m. It features temperatures around 13 °C (55 °F) to 18 °C (64 °F) and precipitations that ranges from scarcely rainy (300 – 700 mm) to pluvial (more than 3300 mm) conditions. This climate zone is present in cities like Mérida (higher part), Colonia Tovar, San Antonio de Los Altos, El Jarillo, El Junquito, Galipan, Timotes, La Grita, Tabay, La Mucuy and others; most of the top of the tepuis also present this climate.
This climate is characterized by temperatures above 8 °C (46 °F) and below 13 °C (55 °F), with precipitations that ranges from scarcely rainy (300 – 700 mm) to pluvial (more than 3300 mm) conditions. This climate can be found in mountainous areas around 2,400 to 3,200 m specifically in Sierra de Perija, Cordillera de Mérida, higher elevations at Venezuelan Coastal Range and higher tepuis (Monte Roraima, Kukenan, Cerro Marahuaca, Chimantá Massif). This climate zone is present in towns like Mucuchíes, Chachopo and Los Nevados.
This climate can be found in the Venezuelan Andes area, between 3,200 and 4,150 m. It's characterized by temperatures from 3 °C (37 °F) to 8 °C (46 °F) and precipitations that ranges from scarcely rainy (300 – 700 mm) to rainy (1800–2500 mm) conditions. This climate zone is present in towns like Apartaderos and Llano del Hato. The condition of this climate is also known as páramo
Frosty climate is found at the highest areas in Venezuelan Andes, between 4,150 and 4,700 m. where the temperatures are between 0 °C (32 °F) to 3 °C (37 °F). This climate zone is present exclusively at Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Sierra de La Culata and Sierra de Santo Domingo.
This climate is characterized by average temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) all year, it's located in the highest peaks of Venezuela in the Cordillera de Mérida such as Pico Bolívar, Pico Humboldt, Pico La Concha, Pico Bonpland, Pico Espejo, Pico Mucuñuque and Pico Piedras Blancas. Only Pico Bolivar and Pico Humboldt have their glaciers preserved, while the other peaks are exposed to nival zone conditions.
Climate zones according to Köppen
Group A: Tropical climates
It's the most prevalent and characteristic climate of the country. Maintaining temperatures above 18 °C (64 °F) and rainfall in most of the year:
It can be found throughout the country, dominating Los Llanos and north of the Guayana Region, as well as some parts of the country. It's dry between December and March with an annual rainfall between 600 and 1,500 mm.
It is located in the Guayana Region, Orinoco Delta, west of Zulia, Andean and Coastal range foothills, Paria Peninsula and Barlovento region; with rainfall between 1,600 and 2,500 mm per year and a drought of just 45 days.
Tropical savanna climate, influenced by a temperate highland climate in Caracas Valley
Tropical savanna climate in the Gran Sabana
Tropical savanna climate in Los Llanos
Tropical monsoon climate in Sur del Lago
Tropical monsoon climate in Canaima
Tropical rainforest climate in Orinoco Delta
Tropical rainforest climate in Paria Peninsula
Tropical hot climate in Margarita Island
Group B: Dry climates
This type of climate the evaporation exceeds precipitation. In Venezuela is typical of desert and arid coastal areas and with annual temperatures above 18 °C. The cold semiarid type can be found at elevated portions of the Andes.
- Hot desert climate (BWh)
- Hot semi-arid climate (BSh)
- Cold semi-arid (BSk)
It can be found locked at the temperate zones of high Andean valleys of Cordillera de Mérida.
Hot desert climate in Medanos de Coro National Park
Hot desert climate in Cabo San Roman
Hot desert climate in Guajira Desert
Hot desert climate in Coche Island
Hot desert climate in Los Roques
Cold semi-arid climate in Los Nevados
Hot semi-arid climate in Puerto La Cruz
Hot semi-arid climate in Barquisimeto
Group C: Temperate climates
The monthly averages temperatures are below 22 °C (72 °F) but above 0 °C (32 °F). At least one month's average temperature is below 18 °C (64 °F):
It tends to experience noticeably drier weather during the lower-sun "winter" season. It's located in the medium areas of the Cordillera de Mérida and Sierra de Perija, the highest areas of Venezuelan coastal range, and the top of the highest Guiana Highlands Tepuis.
Temperate highland climate in Colonia Tovar
Temperate highland climate in Auyantepui
Temperate highland climate in Amazonas
Temperate highland climate in Sierra La Culata
Temperate highland climate in El Avila National Park
Temperate highland climate in Táchira
Group E: Alpine climates
It's characterized by average temperatures below 10 °C in all 12 months of the year:
- Alpine tundra (ETH)
Also known as páramo climate, this climate often undergo a sudden and drastic change in daily-weather in which they fluctuate between temperatures from below freezing to as high as 20 °C. Mean annual temperatures range from 2 °C (36 °F) to 10 °C (50 °F). It is located above the 3,000 m in the Sierra de Perija and Cordillera de Mérida.
- Alpine glacier (EFH)
This climate is reserved to the highest peaks of the Venezuelan Andes, such as Pico Bolívar, Pico Humboldt, Pico La Concha, Pico Bonpland and Pico Espejo, where the annual temperature is below 0 °C. Most of these peaks are free-glaciated but frequently covered by snow during the rainy season. Glaciers in Venezuelan Andes began retreating in the 20th century due to global warming and the currently existing in Pico Bolívar and Pico Humboldt are in danger of disappearing.
Alpine glacier climate in Pico La Concha
Alpine tundra climate in Sierra de La Culata
Alpine tundra climate in Pico Piedras Blancas
Alpina tundra at Laguna de Mucubají
Snow in Mérida
- "Extreme High Temperature in Venezuela". wunderground. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "Extreme Low Temp in Venezuela". Wunderground. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
NOTE: Pass the cursor over the subrayed record to see the source of this. "This location is probably uninhabited, but is close to the town of San Isidro de Apartaderos. −11 °C (12 °F) has been reported from an uninhabited high altitude at Páramo de Piedras Blancas, Mérida state."
- Silva, Gustavo (2010). Tipos y subtipos climáticos de Venezuela (PDF) (in Spanish). Universidad de Los Andes. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- Silva, Gustavo (2002). "Classification of thermal floors in Venezuela" (PDF). Revista Geográfica Venezolana (in Spanish). 43 (2): 311–328. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Tipos Climáticos". Venezuela Virtual. Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2016.