The Atacama Desert, which is located in Chile near the Pacific Ocean is the driest place in South America and in fact the world. Though it is very close to the ocean, it is separated from the world’s largest body of water by a mountain range, the Andes. Whenever a rain storm comes eastward toward the Atacam Desert the steep peaks of the Andes cause the storms to have to move up and over the mountain tops. By the time the rain clouds reach the desert there is nothing left because the mountains take all of the rain.
The driest place, not just in South America but probably in the world, is the Atacama Desert in Chile. Oddly enough, this desert is usually cold, going down to zero degrees Celcius daily, and is high in elevation. It will occasionally see rainfall during extreme weather patterns, and higher altitude regions have snow that never melts, but otherwise it is a dry region.
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