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A heat wave hits part of South America in the dead of winter

Residents of Buenos Aires, Argentina, wore shorts and fanned themselves as they struggled to cope with unusual heat on Tuesday.

On Thursday, they were already wearing the usual jackets and scarves for this time of year.

The sudden change of costumes was due to the heat wave that hits some areas of South America, such as Argentina, Chile and Paraguaywhere it is supposed to be winter.

Source: Climate Reanalyzer, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, using data from the Global Forecast System of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction By Lázaro Gamio and Zach Levitt

On Tuesday, the Argentine capital broke an 81-year daily temperature record, with a maximum of 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the National Weather Service.

Normally, the maximum in Buenos Aires at this time of year is around 15.5 degrees.

“Climate change is not a far off scenario,” the service said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“It is here, and it is urgent to act.”

This week’s heat wave in South America is part of a recent trend of abnormally high temperatures in the dead of winter on the continent and also comes as countries in the northern hemisphere have faced record heat this summer.

Cristóbal Torres, a meteorologist with the Chilean Meteorological Office, said in an interview on Thursday that some of the country’s cities have recorded some of the highest temperatures for the month of August in the last 30 years.

“It’s weird,” Torres said.

The record heat was due in part to climate change and also to The boythe global weather pattern often linked to intense heat, Torres said.

“These temperatures are going to continue rising,” Torres said, referring to the effects of climate change.

On Thursday afternoon, when the temperature was around 11.7 degrees Celsius, María de los Ángeles Lastoria, a psychologist, bundled up in a bright green scarf to go to lunch with a friend in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo.

Just two days earlier, Lastoria, 53, had put on a T-shirt for a midday walk through her neighborhood.

Although it tends to prefer warmer temperatures, a blast of heat in the dead of winter is cause for concern.

“I don’t live this with joy,” he said.

“Maybe it’s because I’m older, but I’m aware that this is not right.”

Temperatures in Buenos Aires returned to close to normal on Thursday, with highs between 15 degrees.

However, the forecasters pointed out that the cities of northern Argentina and some areas of Chile and Paraguay will continue to bear the heat during the weekend.

The temperatures in the hillsin northern Argentina, about 80 kilometers from the border with Paraguay, reached 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit), about 16 degrees above normal highaccording to the weather service.

Some cities in northern Chile were under a heat advisory, with temperatures reaching 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) this week, according to the Chilean weather service.

Temperatures were expected to stay above normal through Friday, Torres said.

In the cities of Paraguay, temperatures rose to 26 and 36 degrees this week, between 10 and 15 degrees above normal, according to the Paraguayan meteorological service.

Forecasts called for the heat to last through the weekend, according to the weather service.

Although temperatures in Buenos Aires are expected to move closer to normal for the rest of the week, Lastoria expressed concern about the coming summer, especially after parts of Europe have suffered record heat this summer.

“I don’t think 40 and 50 degrees are good for your health,” Lastoria said, referring to temperatures in Celsius, which would be about 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

On Thursday, Azul Marichalar, 21, was heading to Buenos Aires to catch a train after work and said she didn’t know what to make of the winter heat.

“It’s very strange this kind of heat in August,” Marichalar said.

“Of course it’s not good, but that’s also our fault, with global warming.”

c.2023 The New York Times Company

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