CLIMATE OF THE ATACAMA

SOME IMPORTANT CLUES TO THE GENERAL CLIMATE

COLOR

Here we see the blue of the ocean, the white of clouds and many beautiful shades of earth tones (browns, grays, blacks, and yellows). What we do not see is any hint of green, the color of life. This is typical of an arid region.

AIR CLARITY

Up to three fourths of the Earth will be covered by some cloudiness at any given time. Any place on Earth can have a clear day sometimes, even Charleston. In the desert you get a clear day every day. Here all of the clouds stop at the shoreline. This is a pattern seen with many coastal deserts.

SIGNS OF WATER

The lack of blue lakes and active rivers with their borders of green vegetation also show an area with little active water.

TERRAIN

The many sharp features indicate a mountainous region. Mountains tend to be dryer and cooler than lowlands.

Rare summer showers may happen near the mountains but the desert plateau itself may receive no rain for decades at a time. The only significant vegetation occurs at the scattered oases or at places with artificial irrigation.

A dry land with almost no plants. Snow capped mountains and dry clear air with only an occasional cloud.

An Oasis.

An almost "Lunar" landscape"

WHAT WEATHER PATTERN CREATES A COASTAL DESERT ?

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA ?

HINT - CLOUDS OFTEN ARE OUR BEST CLUE TO WEATHER.

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