What is the terrain and geography like in Paraguay?
The eastern section consists of rolling, fertile farming areas and grasslands, together with large, wooded areas and jungle patches near the Brazilian border. Most of the country's population live in the east and engage in small-scale agriculture. Asuncion and other commercially important towns-Encarnacion, Ciudad del Este, Pedro Juan Caballero, Concepcion, Coronel Oviedo, and Villarrica are in this area, and most are accessible by paved roads. The western section, nearly two-thirds of Paraguay's total area, is called the Chaco. It is a low-lying plateau covered with grassy meadows, bogs, spiny bushes, palms, and small trees. Lacking roads and navigable rivers, much of the region is inaccessible. Only 3% of the population live in this area.
The riverfront elevation of Asuncion is 177 feet above sea level. Residential areas are situated on low hills that rise another 200 feet. Elevations throughout Paraguay are moderate, the highest range of hills, located in the eastern region, rises to about 2,000 feet.
Winter extends from June through August. Cold snaps of 4 or 5 days with temperatures in the low 40s and high 30s are interspersed with several days in the upper 70s and low 80s. Frosts occur rarely. The official record low in Asuncion is 32ºF, although the damp air make it seem much colder. With frequent and abrupt changes, from winter to summer-like weather and back again (temperature changes of 20ºF-50ºF are common), Relative humidity ranges between 67% and 78% (monthly averages) year round and is particularly high in summer.
Asuncion's average 59-inch annual rainfall is well distributed seasonally. Slightly greater amounts fall in hotter months. Torrential rains cause annual floods in riverside communities. The Chaco, which receives little rainfall, becomes semiarid in its westernmost reaches. During rainy periods, however, water covers large areas due to the impermeable clay subsoil.