Uruguay is a little smaller than the United Kingdom and about the same size as the state of Washington. It lies on the east coast of South America between 30° and 35°S. It is bordered on the north by Brazil and on the west by the River Uruguay, which forms the border with Argentina. Most of the country is low-lying and rather flat, with the highest hills rising to about 450 m/1,500 ft.
The climate of Uruguay is similar to that of the Pampas region of Argentina and because of the level nature of the country there is little variation of weather and climate within Uruguay, The table for Montevideo is representative of the coastal districts and there are only slight differences between these and the areas farther inland.
Most of Uruguay has a moderate annual rainfall of about 1,000 mm/40 in; this is well distributed throughout the year but the autumn months tend to be slightly wetter. Rain falls on a comparatively small number of days; about one day in five at all seasons. Thus the rainfall, when it occurs, is often moderate to heavy.
The summers are warm but not as hot as in some other countries in similar latitudes, such as the southern Atlantic coastlands of the USA or parts of southeast Australia. Winters are mild and frost and snow are very rare. Southerly winds can bring occasional spells of colder weather, which may be associated with squally winds or gales in the estuary of the Rio de la Plata. However, such outbreaks of colder polar air from Antarctica are much modified after they have crossed some thousands of miles of warmer water in the South Atlantic.
Inland the summer temperatures are a little higher than those found on the coast. Sunshine hours are high in Uruguay, ranging from five to six hours a day in winter to as much as nine to ten in summer. The climate of Uruguay is rarely uncomfortable or unpleasant and can be described as healthy for most of the year.
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