The Falklands consist of two main islands with a number of smaller islands, most of which are uninhabited. They are situated between 51° and 52°S, 480 km/300 mi from the coast of South America.
The total land area of the islands is about half the size of Wales, or the size of the state of Connecticut. The islands have a number of hills or low mountains, rising to 450-700 m/1,500-2,300 ft, but much of the area is low-lying.
The weather and climate of the Falklands are similar to those of the Hebrides or Shetland Islands, but with a longer and slightly more severe winter. The Falklands are situated in the very stormy latitudes of the southern westerly winds or 'Roaring Forties' and gales are very frequent, particularly during the winter months. The weather is very changeable throughout the year with much cloud and rain, but the total annual rainfall is not large.
The number of days with rain is similar to that in Britain and the number of days with snow is rather greater than that in the Shetland Islands. Sleet and snow are frequent in the winter months but the snow does not lie very deep or very long, since the weather is so frequently changing.
The summers are cool and during the brief, fine, settled spells temperatures never rise very high. The average number of hours of sunshine a day ranges from two to three in winter to about six in summer.
The table for Stanley is representative of conditions at or near sea level.
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