What Is the Climate of Chile?

climate-chile Credit: Ricardo Martínez Photography/Moment/Getty Images

The climate in Chile ranges from alpine conditions in the country's mountains to Mediterranean temperatures along its coastline. Other than snowfall in its higher altitudes, Chile sees very little precipitation most of the year.

According to Travel Guide, Chile's wide range of terrain, from mountains in the east to coastal areas in the west, creates a variety of temperatures and other weather conditions throughout the country on any given day. Its mountain ranges feature a number of ski resorts, while its coastal communities are popular among tourists seeking a mild, sunny climate.

The Chile Fishing website reports that the Humboldt current, which initially forms in the Pacific's sub-Antarctic waters, along with prevailing southwesterly winds, keep much of Chile's climate fairly temperate most of the year. This prevents most of the country from experiencing inhospitable temperature extremes on either end of the scale.

The Latin America Collection website reports that Chile's location in the southern hemisphere results in the country experiencing winter during June, July and August and summer in December, January and February. For this reason many people visit Santiago and other parts of Chile during the northern hemisphere's winter season. Santiago's generally mild climate is considered one of the primary reasons 80 percent of the nation's population lives in the city.