Average Weather in El Calafate Argentina
In El Calafate, the summers are cool; the winters are very cold; and it is dry, windy, and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 29°F to 64°F and is rarely below 20°F or above 73°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit El Calafate for warm-weather activities is from late December to late February.
The warm season lasts for 3.9 months, from November 20 to March 16, with an average daily high temperature above 59°F. The hottest day of the year is January 29, with an average high of 64°F and low of 49°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.1 months, from May 20 to August 22, with an average daily high temperature below 44°F. The coldest day of the year is July 15, with an average low of 29°F and high of 39°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
On February 27, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 54% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 46% of the time.
On June 26, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 56% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 44% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in El Calafate varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 8.5 months, from December 11 to August 25, with a greater than 16% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 21% on May 16.
The drier season lasts 3.5 months, from August 25 to December 11. The smallest chance of a wet day is 11% on September 25.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 20% on May 1.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. El Calafate experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 10 months, from November 25 to October 2, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around May 8, with an average total accumulation of 1.0 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 1.8 months, from October 2 to November 25. The least rain falls around November 2, with an average total accumulation of 0.4 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall in El Calafate does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.1 inches throughout.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in El Calafate varies extremely over the course of the year. In 2019, the shortest day is June 21, with 8 hours, 1 minute of daylight; the longest day is December 22, with 16 hours, 26 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:32 AM on December 13, and the latest sunrise is 4 hours, 19 minutes later at 9:50 AM on June 26. The earliest sunset is at 5:50 PM on June 16, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 12 minutes later at 10:02 PM on December 30.
Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in El Calafate during 2019.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The perceived humidity level in El Calafate, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in El Calafate experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 5.7 months, from October 3 to March 26, with average wind speeds of more than 12.9 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is November 28, with an average hourly wind speed of 16.2 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 6.3 months, from March 26 to October 3. The calmest day of the year is June 8, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.5 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in El Calafate is from the west throughout the year.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in El Calafate throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit El Calafate for general outdoor tourist activities is from late December to late February, with a peak score in the second week of January.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit El Calafate for hot-weather activities is from late January to early February, with a peak score in the last week of January.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in El Calafate typically lasts for 7.3 months (220 days), from around September 24 to around May 1, rarely starting before August 30 or after November 8, and rarely ending before April 9 or after May 26.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in El Calafate should appear around November 11, only rarely appearing before October 30 or after November 25.
Growing Degree Days
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.3 months, from November 2 to February 12, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.9 kWh. The brightest day of the year is December 21, with an average of 7.1 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 4.0 months, from April 21 to August 22, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.1 kWh. The darkest day of the year is June 19, with an average of 0.9 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of El Calafate are -50.341 deg latitude, -72.277 deg longitude, and 846 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of El Calafate contains significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 709 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 783 feet. Within 10 miles contains significant variations in elevation (4,354 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (9,085 feet).
The area within 2 miles of El Calafate is covered by sparse vegetation (23%), grassland (22%), water (20%), and trees (19%), within 10 miles by water (42%) and shrubs (20%), and within 50 miles by shrubs (31%) and trees (19%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in El Calafate, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There is only a single weather station, Lago Argentino Aerodrome, in our network suitable to be used as a proxy for the historical temperature and dew point records of El Calafate.
At a distance of 2 kilometer from El Calafate, closer than our threshold of 150 kilometers, this station is deemed sufficiently nearby to be relied upon as our primary source for temperature and dew point records.
The station records are corrected for the elevation difference between the station and El Calafate according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
Please note that the station records themselves may additionally have been back-filled using other nearby stations or the MERRA-2 reanalysis.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.