Paraguay is entirely landlocked and is situated between 18° and 28°S. It is as large as the state of California. It is bordered on the north by Bolivia and Brazil and on the south by Argentina.
Most of the country lies below 450 m/1,500 ft. The northwestern part of the country lies entirely within the tropics and has a typical tropical climate with hot summers, warm winters, and most of its rainfall in the hottest months between October and March. The southeastern half of the country has temperatures a little lower in all months, but the summers are sufficiently hot and wet to be typically tropical.
The northwest of Paraguay is part of the Gran Chaco region, which extends into the adjoining regions of Bolivia and Argentina. Here annual rainfall ranges between 750 mm/30 in and 1,250 mm/50 in, increasing northwards.
Occasionally in winter the region is affected by outbreaks of colder polar air from Antarctica; this cold air lowers the temperature for a day or so but frost is very rare. This is a rather desolate and sparsely populated region. It is very flat and level; the elevation of the land rises very gradually towards the Bolivian border. Differences of climate and weather are small within the Gran Chaco.
The southeastern half of the country contains some land which is a little higher, and the more southerly latitude means that the winter here is somewhat cooler; however, cold days with frost are very rare. Summer temperatures are hot to warm so that conditions are then quite tropical.
Rainfall is between 1,250 mm/50 in and 1,750 mm/70 in a year and it increases eastwards. Rain can be expected on about one day in five in winter and on about one day in three in summer. The table for Asunción illustrates conditions in the centre of the country.
To the northwest, in the Gran Chaco, conditions are a little hotter in all months and there is less rainfall. In the southeast of the country it is rather wetter with slightly lower temperatures in all months. The southeast is the most developed and densely populated part of Paraguay.
The weather can often be distinctly sultry and oppressive during the wet summer months and this is particularly the case in the Gran Chaco region.
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