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Geminid Meteor Shower: Santiago to Enjoy Good View; Storms to Ruin Show in Asuncion

Santiago will join the limited areas in South America that will have good viewing conditions for the peak of the Geminid meteor shower.

The Geminid meteor shower will peak during the nights of Sunday and Monday and offers stargazers an opportunity to see dozens of shooting stars streak across the night sky every hour.

That is, where the weather cooperates, which is expected from central Chile to the interior of southern Peru. High pressure will promote dry weather in these areas Sunday night.

Low clouds, streaming in from the Pacific Ocean, will hinder a clear view along the coastline of southern Peru and northern Chile. Meanwhile, more numerous clouds, as well as rain and mountain snow showers, will obscure the show in southern Chile and neighboring Argentina.

Clouds and storms may also be a problem for stargazers in central and northwestern South America Sunday night.

"A front will move through central South America Sunday night, causing a cluster of thunderstorms to develop," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.

These thunderstorms will erupt around far-northeastern Argentina, eastern Paraguay, possibly including Asunción, and neighboring southern Brazil. Worse than ruining the astronomical show, the heaviest thunderstorms may unleash potentially flooding rain and gusty winds.

The storminess will develop north and west of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, which will be dry with "intermittent cloudiness," Richards said.

"From northern Bolivia and Brasilia on to the northwest, afternoon thunderstorms will be dying down Sunday evening with leftover clouds overnight," added Richards. "While there will be some breaks in the clouds overnight, fog may develop especially where there is rain during the day."

A decrease in thunderstorms in the evening but persistent cloud cover will also be the theme around Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, according to Richards.

The best opportunity for daytime thunderstorms to give way to clearer skies at night in Brazil will be in the northeastern part of the nation Sunday night. That is away from the coast where moisture streaming in from the Atlantic will lead to spotty showers.

For those hoping to see the second night of the meteor shower's peak, the weather Monday night will not be much different across northern South America as compared to Sunday night. Storms and clouds, however, will likely be less numerous around Rio de Janeiro.

Another round of potentially heavy thunderstorms will target northern Argentina, Paraguay and far-southern Brazil Monday night. The storms should be departing Buenos Aires and Montevideo at this time.

Santiago will enjoy another mostly clear night, with similar conditions expanding southward to around Conception.

While South America will be able to view the Geminid meteor shower, it will not be as impressive as the show in the Northern Hemisphere.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel explained, "That is due to shorter nights and the radiant point of the meteors (in the Gemini constellation) is near the horizon. When that happens, generally half of the meteors go below the horizon."

The farther north a community is located in South America, the higher the Gemini constellation will sit in the sky and the more shooting stars there will be in a given hour when compared to places farther south.

"The Geminid meteor shower does not only produce a plethora of shooting stars but is also known to produce some unusual colors as they streak across the star-studded sky," reported AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada. "Most of the meteors will appear white or yellow, but according to Slooh, a small number may appear red, blue or even purple."