CLIMATE. The climate of Chile must be char acterized as oceanic or insular, the changes of temperature being relatively slight. The north ern coast lies within the region of winds which in summer blow both toward the equator and toward the interior of the continent. and is in winter almost free from storms. The southern coast lies within the region of strong westerly winds which blow at all seasons of the year. The fact that all these winds blow the sea-ai• toward the land accounts for the uniform tem perature. The climate of the Chilean coast much resembles that of the Californian coast. In the summer the diurnal periodicity of the wind is one of the marked climatic features; on the coast the sea-breeze blows during the clay with great strength, and on the Andean heights with stormy violence. The average temperatures at low altitudes vary during the year from 65' F. at the north to 40' F. at the extreme south: during January they vary F. at the north to 50' F. at the south, and in July front 6:2° F. at the north to 32' F. at the south. The tem perature decreases about 1° F. for each 300 feet of altitude. The average annual rainfall along the coast is less than S inches north of latitude 35' S., but from the latter parallel the amount increases very rapidly southward to over SO inches in latitude 35' S.; and this excessive rain fall. reaching in some cases 130 inches, extends almost to the Strait of .1\lagellan. The rainfall toward the interior increases slightly at the north, but decreases very rapidly in the region of great precipitation at the south. In the north ern part all months lack rain: between latitudes 30' and 40° S. winter is the rainy season, with
dry summers, but south of about latitude 40' S. not only is the winter rainy, but in the summer time considerable precipitation occurs.
The marked contrasts in the amount of rain fall in different parts of Chile show clearly the climatic control over the distribution of the popu lation and their pursuits. From about latitude :2S' S. to the northern boundary, the country lies in the rainless zone of the southeast trade winds and is consequently a desert. agriculture being impossible except in small irrigated dis tricts. :Mining is here the only important in dustry, minerals are the only exports, and nearly everything in the way of food must be brought into the northern third of Chile. South of the twenty-eighth parallel the influence of westerly or sea winds begins slightly to be felt, sonic rain falls, and the quantity steadily increases toward the south. in this region agriculture is profitable and is the chief occupation. The barren nitrate fields and mining districts are replaced by green valleys and vine-clad hills. The agricultural zone extends south to about the fortieth parallel, where the rainfall becomes excessive, as the coast is exposed to the full force of the prevailing west erly winds. This is a region of extensive forests, and, when developed, its large industries will be lumbering and fisheries. South of the forty-fifth parallel the size and variety of the trees begin to diminish under the influence of the lowering temperature.