Once deep in powder, this time of year, Chile's ski stations are fighting the ravages of climate change and pollution that have brought less and less snow to the central Andes. Just a few decades ago, the Andes mountain range could be buried under 4 meters of snow, forcing the closure of access roads and requiring the use of tractors to get around.
A rare snowfall was seen across parts of Uruguay on Sunday while graupel resulted in an icy coating across parts of eastern Argentina.
The sixth stage of the Rally Dakar 2012, the first one in Chilean territory, has been suspended due to intense snow storms that do not allow the trespassing of the vehicles from Argentina.
Almost 300.000 sheep and 9.200 cattle are exposed to serious life risk following heavy snow storms which covered the Magallanes Region in the extreme south of Chile with a white blanket anywhere between 70 and 150 centimetres thick.
Four districts in the Chilean extreme south region of Magallanes were declared in “agricultural emergency” given the harmful effects of snow storms in the area.
A polar front advancing over Argentina and Uruguay dragged the thermometers Monday morning in yet another freezing day in the south of the continent. Below zero temperatures were registered in several locations reaching minus 16,2 Celsius in Malargüe, Mendoza Province, according to Argentina’s Meteorological Service (SMN).
President Sebastián Piñera declared much of La Araucania in Chilean Patagonia, disaster areas on Wednesday, as four days of non-stop snowfall have isolated the region’s predominantly rural communities and wreaked havoc on basic utilities.
Many trucks loaded with perishables and other food products heading for Punta Arenas extreme south of Chile are stranded in border crossings with Argentina blocked by the snow that has accumulated during the last storms.