Pampas (from the Quechua pampa, meaning "plain") are fertile South
American lowlands that cover more than 750,000 km2
(289,577 sq mi) and include the Argentine provinces of
Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba; all of
Uruguay; and the southernmost Brazilian State, Rio Grande do Sul. The
vast plains are a natural region, interrupted only by the low Ventana
Tandil hills, near
Bahía Blanca and
Tandil (Argentina), with a
height of 1,300 m (4,265 ft) and 500 m (1,640 ft),
The climate is warm, with precipitation of 600 to 1,200 mm (23.6
to 47.2 in) that is more or less evenly distributed through the
year, making the soils appropriate for agriculture. The area is also
one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger
Paraná-Paraguay Plain division.
5 See also
7 External links
See also: Climate of Argentina, Climatic regions of Argentina, Climate
of Uruguay, and Climate of Brazil
The climate of the
Pampas is generally temperate, gradually giving
away to a more subtropical climate in the north and to a semiarid
climate on the western fringes (like
San Luis Province
San Luis Province and western La
Pampa Province). Summer temperatures are more uniform than winter
temperatures, generally ranging from 28 to 33 °C (82 to
91 °F) during the day. However, most cities in the Pampas
occasionally have high temperatures that push 38 °C
(100 °F), as occurs when a warm, dry, northerly wind blows from
southern Brazil. Autumn arrives gradually in March, and peaks in April
and May. In April, highs range from 20 to 25 °C (68 to
77 °F) and lows from 9 to 13 °C (48 to 55 °F). The
first frosts arrive in mid-April in the south, and in late May or
early June in the north.
Winters are generally mild, but cold waves still occur. Normal
temperatures range from 12 to 19 °C (54 to 66 °F) during
the day, and from 1 to 6 °C (34 to 43 °F) at night. With
strong northerly winds, days of over 25 °C (77 °F) can be
recorded almost everywhere, and during cold waves, high temperatures
can be only 6 °C (43 °F). Frost occurs everywhere in the
Pampas, but it is much more frequent in the southwest than around the
Uruguay Rivers. Temperatures under −5 °C
(23 °F) can occur everywhere, but values of −10 °C
(14 °F) or lower are confined to the south and west.
falls in the northernmost third and is rare and light elsewhere,
except for exceptional events in which depths have reached 30 cm
Springs are very variable; it is warmer than fall in most areas
(especially in the west) but significantly colder along the Atlantic.
Violent storms are more common as well as wide temperature variations:
days of 35 °C (95 °F) can give way to nights of under
5 °C (41 °F) or even frost, all within only a few days.
Precipitation ranges from 1,200 mm (47 in) in the northeast,
to about 500 mm (20 in) in the southern and western edges.
In the west, it is highly seasonal, with some places recording
averages of 120 mm (4.7 in) monthly in the summer, and only
20 millimetres (0.8 in) monthly in the winter. The eastern areas
have small peaks in the fall and in the spring, with relatively rainy
summers and winters that are only slightly drier. However, where
summer rain falls as short, heavy storms, winter rain falls mostly as
cold drizzle and so the amount of rainy days is fairly constant. Very
intense thunderstorms are common in the spring and summer, and it has
among the most frequent lightning and highest convective cloud tops in
the world. The severe thunderstorms produce intense hailstorms,
and both floods and flash floods, as well as the most consistently
active tornado region outside the central and southeastern US.
Herbivores of the pampas are the pampas deer, guanaco, gray brocket,
dwarf mara, plains viscacha, Brazilian guinea pig, southern mountain
cavy and coypu. The biggest predator of the region is the puma
followed by the maned wolf, pampas fox, geoffroy's cat, lesser grison
as well as the omnivorous white-eared opossum and molinas hog-nosed
Bird species of the pampas are ruddy-headed goose, pampas meadowlark,
hudsonian godwit, maguari stork, white-faced ibis, white-winged coot,
southern screamer, dot-winged crake, curve-billed reedhaunter,
burrowing owl and the rhea.
Regions of Argentina
Frequent wildfires ensure that only small plants such as grasses
flourish, and trees are less common. The dominant
vegetation types are grassy prairie and grass steppe in which numerous
species of the grass genus
Stipa are particularly conspicuous. "Pampas
grass" (Cortaderia selloana) is an iconic species of the Pampas.
Vegetation typically includes perennial grasses and herbs. Different
strata of grasses occur because of gradients of water availability.
World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund divides the
Pampas into three distinct
Uruguayan Savanna lies east of the Parana River, and
includes all of Uruguay, most of Entre Ríos and Corrientes provinces
in Argentina, and the southern portion of Brazil's state of Rio Grande
do Sul. The
Humid Pampas include eastern
Buenos Aires Province, and
southern Entre Ríos Province. The Semiarid
Pampas includes western
Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province and adjacent portions of Santa Fe, Córdoba, and
La Pampa provinces. The
Pampas are bounded by the drier Argentine
espinal grasslands, which form a semicircle around the north, west,
and south of the Humid Pampas.
Winters are cool to mild and summers are very warm and humid. Rainfall
is fairly uniform throughout the year, but is a little heavier during
the summer. Annual rainfall is heaviest near the coast and decreases
gradually further inland. Rain during the late spring and summer
usually arrives in the form of brief heavy showers and thunderstorms.
More general rainfall occurs the remainder of the year as cold fronts
and storm systems move through. Although cold spells during the winter
often send nighttime temperatures below freezing, snow is quite rare.
In most winters, a few light snowfalls occur over inland areas.
Argentina boasts a successful agricultural business, with
crops grown on the
Pampas south and west of Buenos Aires. Much of the
area is also used for cattle and more recently to grow vineyards in
Buenos Aires wine region. These farming regions are particularly
susceptible to flooding during the thunderstorms. In the Pampas, the
weather averages out to be 60 °F (16 °C) year round.
View of the northern
Pampas grain belt
Lake Gómez, near Junín, in the heart of the
Pampas grain belt: The
Pampa extends from the foothills of the
Andes Mountains on the west to
Atlantic Ocean on the east. The region is peppered with finger
lakes, holdovers from the last ice ages.
Starting in the 1840s but intensifying after the 1880s, European
immigrants started to migrate to the Pampas, first as part of
government-sponsored colonization schemes to settle the land and later
as tenant farmers "working as either sharecroppers or as paid laborers
for absentee landowners" in an attempt to make a living for
However, many immigrants eventually moved to more permanent employment
in cities, as industrialization picked up after the 1930s. As a
result, Argentina's history of immigration in
Buenos Aires Province
Buenos Aires Province is
typically associated with cities and urban life, unlike in Entre Ríos
Province and Santa Fe Province, where European immigration took on a
more rural profile.
South America portal
Federal University of Pampa
Luis Ángel Firpo
Luis Ángel Firpo - the "Wild Bull of Las Pampas"
José Froilán González
José Froilán González - the "
^ Zipser, E. J.; C. Liu; D. J. Cecil; S. W. Nesbitt; D. P. Yorty
(2006). "Where are the Most Intense Thunderstorms on Earth?". Bull.
Am. Meteorol. Soc. 87 (8): 1057–71.
^ Virts, Katrina S.; J. M. Wallace; M. L. Hutchins; R. H. Holzworth
(2013). "Highlights of a New Ground-Based, Hourly Global Lightning
Climatology". Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 94 (9): 1381–91.
^ Rasmussen, Kristen L.; M. D. Zuluaga; R. A. Houze Jr. (2014).
"Severe convection and lightning in subtropical South America".
Geophys. Res. Lett. 41 (20): 7359–66.
^ WWF ecoregions: https://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/nt0803
^ IUCN redlist: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/6786/0
^ IUCN redlist: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/4819/0
^ IUCN redlist: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22689353/0
^ IUCN redlist: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/29620/0
^ Meade, Teresa A. History of modern Latin America: 1800 to the
present. Wiley Blackwell, 2016.
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Encyclopædia Britannica: The Pampas
Coordinates: 35°S 62°W / 35°S 6