UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Paraguay's climate is seasonal and subject to abrupt changes. It is subtropical, with summer and winter seasons opposite those in the United States. Winds are generally moderate, but high winds accompanied by thunder and electrical storms are common, especially in summer. The long, hot summer lasts from October through March, with January average maximum temperature 91ºF and mean temperature 81øF. Severe hot spells with very high humidity are common. Temperatures often exceed 100ºF during the day from December to February (the official record high temperature is 109ºF), with little relief at night.
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.
Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%
Independence Day, 14 May 1811 (observed 15 May)
23 00 S, 58 00 W
Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil