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Average Weather in San Pedro de Atacama Chile

In San Pedro de Atacama, the summers are long, warm, and arid; the winters are short, cold, and dry; and it is mostly clear year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 34°F to 80°F and is rarely below 28°F or above 84°F.

Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit San Pedro de Atacama for warm-weather activities is from late September to mid April.

Climate Summary

warmcomfortablewarmJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecNowNow91%91%67%67%clearprecipitation: 0.2 inprecipitation: 0.2 in0.0 in0.0 inmuggy: 0%muggy: 0%drydrytourism score: 6.4tourism score: 6.44.54.5
Click on each chart for more information.

Temperature

The warm season lasts for 4.5 months, from November 4 to March 19, with an average daily high temperature above 77°F. The hottest day of the year is December 28, with an average high of 80°F and low of 47°F.

The cool season lasts for 2.6 months, from May 25 to August 11, with an average daily high temperature below 70°F. The coldest day of the year is July 12, with an average low of 34°F and high of 67°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

Average High and Low Temperature in San Pedro de AtacamawarmwarmcoolJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F10°F20°F30°F40°F50°F60°F70°F80°F90°F100°FJul 1267°FJul 1267°FDec 2880°FDec 2880°F34°F34°F47°F47°FNov 477°FNov 477°FMar 1977°FMar 1977°FMay 2570°FMay 2570°F42°F42°F46°F46°F38°F38°F36°F36°FLowHighNowNow
The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

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

Average Hourly Temperature in San Pedro de AtacamaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMNowNowvery coldcoldcoolcoolcomfortablewarmwarmcoolcoolcoldvery cold
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
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Chalchihuites, Mexico (4,006 miles away) is the far-away foreign place with temperatures most similar to San Pedro de Atacama (view comparison).

Clouds

In San Pedro de Atacama, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year in San Pedro de Atacama begins around March 18 and lasts for 8.2 months, ending around November 24. On September 10, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 91% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 9% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around November 24 and lasts for 3.8 months, ending around March 18. On January 7, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 33% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 67% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories in San Pedro de AtacamaclearercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Sep 1091%Sep 1091%Jan 767%Jan 767%Mar 1879%Mar 1879%Nov 2479%Nov 2479%NowNowclearovercastmostly clearpartly cloudy
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds.

Precipitation

San Pedro de Atacama does not experience significant seasonal variation in the frequency of wet days (i.e., those with greater than 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation). The frequency ranges from 0% to 5%, with an average value of 1%.

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 5% on January 28.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in San Pedro de AtacamaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jan 285%Jan 285%Jul 310%Jul 310%Jan 13%Jan 13%Mar 173%Mar 173%NowNow
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

The sliding 31-day quantity of rainfall in San Pedro de Atacama does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.1 inches throughout.

Average Monthly Rainfall

Average Monthly Rainfall in San Pedro de AtacamaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0.0 in0.2 in0.4 in0.6 in0.8 in1.0 inFeb 20.2 inFeb 20.2 inSep 210.0 inSep 210.0 inMay 160.0 inMay 160.0 inAug 90.0 inAug 90.0 in
The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Sun

The length of the day in San Pedro de Atacama varies over the course of the year. In 2019, the shortest day is June 21, with 10 hours, 44 minutes of daylight; the longest day is December 22, with 13 hours, 33 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in San Pedro de AtacamaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hr12 hr, 6 minSep 2312 hr, 6 minSep 2313 hr, 33 minDec 2213 hr, 33 minDec 2212 hr, 7 minMar 2012 hr, 7 minMar 2010 hr, 44 minJun 2110 hr, 44 minJun 21daydaynightNowNow
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 6:38 AM on November 29, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 22 minutes later at 8:00 AM on August 11. The earliest sunset is at 5:54 PM on June 7, and the latest sunset is 2 hours, 29 minutes later at 8:23 PM on January 14.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in San Pedro de Atacama during 2019, starting in the spring on August 11 and ending in the fall on May 11.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in San Pedro de AtacamaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMNov 296:38 AMNov 296:38 AM8:23 PMJan 148:23 PMJan 14Jun 75:54 PMJun 75:54 PM8:00 AMAug 118:00 AMAug 11DSTMay 11DSTMay 11Aug 11DSTAug 11DSTdaynightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunsetNowNow
The solar day over the course of the year 2019. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Humidity

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 San Pedro de Atacama, 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

Humidity Comfort Levels in San Pedro de AtacamaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jul 30%Jul 30%NowNowdrydry
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point.

Wind

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 San Pedro de Atacama experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 8.4 months, from June 21 to March 2, with average wind speeds of more than 8.5 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is December 27, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.1 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 3.6 months, from March 2 to June 21. The calmest day of the year is April 25, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.8 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in San Pedro de AtacamawindywindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph2 mph4 mph6 mph8 mph10 mph12 mph14 mph16 mph18 mphDec 279.1 mphDec 279.1 mphApr 257.8 mphApr 257.8 mphJun 218.5 mphJun 218.5 mphMar 28.5 mphMar 28.5 mphNowNow
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in San Pedro de Atacama varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the east for 1.9 months, from April 12 to June 10, with a peak percentage of 44% on April 12. The wind is most often from the north for 1.7 months, from June 10 to August 2, with a peak percentage of 38% on July 10. The wind is most often from the west for 8.3 months, from August 2 to April 12, with a peak percentage of 52% on January 1.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in San Pedro de AtacamaWENWJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%NowNowwesteastnorthsouth
northeastsouthwest
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions, excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1.0 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is in San Pedro de Atacama 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 San Pedro de Atacama for general outdoor tourist activities is from late September to mid April, with a peak score in the second week of December.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score in San Pedro de Atacamabest timebest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468106.46.44.54.5NowNow precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstourism score
The tourism score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

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 San Pedro de Atacama for hot-weather activities is from early November to mid March, with a peak score in the last week of December.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score in San Pedro de Atacamabest timebest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468104.64.60.90.9NowNow precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturebeach/pool score
The beach/pool score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

Methodology

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.

Growing Season

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 San Pedro de Atacama typically lasts for 8.4 months (255 days), from around September 11 to around May 24, rarely starting before August 7 or after October 28, and rarely ending before April 27 or after June 16.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in San Pedro de AtacamaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%50%Sep 1150%Sep 1150%May 2450%May 2490%Oct 2890%Oct 2890%Apr 2790%Apr 2710%Aug 710%Aug 710%Jun 1610%Jun 161%Jul 51%Jul 5Jan 22100%Jan 22100%NowNowvery coldcoldcoolcomfortablewarm
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
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

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 San Pedro de Atacama should appear around July 17, only rarely appearing before July 15 or after July 21.

Growing Degree Days

Growing Degree Days in San Pedro de AtacamaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F500°F1,000°F1,500°F2,000°F2,500°F3,000°F3,500°F4,000°FJul 1790°FJul 1790°FOct 24900°FOct 24900°FDec 301,800°FDec 301,800°FJun 303,791°FJun 303,791°FNowNow
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the year, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

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 significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 4.0 months, from October 14 to February 15, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 8.7 kWh. The brightest day of the year is December 7, with an average of 9.6 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from May 5 to August 5, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 6.0 kWh. The darkest day of the year is June 21, with an average of 5.1 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in San Pedro de AtacamabrightbrightdarkJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 kWh1 kWh2 kWh3 kWh4 kWh5 kWh6 kWh7 kWh8 kWh9 kWh10 kWh11 kWhDec 79.6 kWhDec 79.6 kWhJun 215.1 kWhJun 215.1 kWhOct 148.7 kWhOct 148.7 kWhFeb 158.7 kWhFeb 158.7 kWhMay 56.0 kWhMay 56.0 kWhAug 56.0 kWhAug 56.0 kWhNowNow
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of San Pedro de Atacama are -22.911 deg latitude, -68.201 deg longitude, and 8,025 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of San Pedro de Atacama contains significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 650 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 8,026 feet. Within 10 miles contains significant variations in elevation (2,283 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (12,320 feet).

The area within 2 miles of San Pedro de Atacama is covered by bare soil (79%), within 10 miles by bare soil (91%), and within 50 miles by bare soil (69%) and sparse vegetation (13%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in San Pedro de Atacama, 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, Aeródromo El Loa, in our network suitable to be used as a proxy for the historical temperature and dew point records of San Pedro de Atacama.

At a distance of 91 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama, 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 San Pedro de Atacama 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.

Other Data

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.

Disclaimer

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.