Extremely Rare Snowfall Marks Argentinean Independence Day

Buenos Aires sees first snowfall in 89 years

by Mark Zurlo
Map of Argentina

Map of Argentina

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While many parts of the Northern Hemisphere welcomed July 2007 with sunny skies and warm weather, the situation was much different in South America, where a historic cold spell, which began in May, continued to grip a number of countries. On July 10, 2007, Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, witnessed its first snowfall in 89 years. Citizens, many of whom were celebrating the country's Independence Day, streamed into the street to experience snowflakes for the first time. The snowfall produced only a small accumulation on the ground, but children still hastily scraped together snowballs and tossed them in every direction.

People outside Buenos Aires were not so welcoming of the harsh conditions, however. Major roadways in Bolivia were blocked by the snow and airports were forced to close. The stretch of cold weather is unprecedented for most South American countries, and a number of deaths have been reported as a result. National governments have encouraged residents to conserve energy to reduce the strain on utilities. These problems, however, are of little concern to the millions who can finally say that they have tasted their first snowflake.

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