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August 16, 2013
Lima's dreaded leaden skies

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- For roughly four months a year, the sun abandons Peru's seaside desert capital, suffocating it under a ponderous gray cloudbank and fog that coats the city with nighttime drizzles.

The 19th-century writer and seafarer Herman Melville called Lima "the strangest and saddest city thou can'st see."

Other writers have likened its leaden winter sky to "the belly of a burro."

Barometers often read 100 percent humidity, and rheumatoid and bronchial ailments soar in the city of 9 million. Limenos don scarfs and jackets and complain of slipping into a gloom of seasonal depression.

This year, Lima has had a particularly bad bout of winter, its coldest, dampest in 30 years, according to the state meteorological agency, with temperatures dropping to a sodden 12 degrees centigrade (about 54 degrees Fahrenheit).

(21 images)




In this Aug. 12, 2013 photo, two elderly women visit the Virgen de Lourdes cemetery in Lima, Peru. For roughly four months a year, the sun abandons Peru's seaside desert capital, suffocating it under a ponderous gray cloudbank and fog that coats the city with nighttime drizzles. Limenos don scarfs and jackets and complain of slipping into a gloom of seasonal depression. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 17, 2013 photo, a girl sits next to clothes hanging to dry in Lima, Peru. For roughly four months a year, the sun abandons Peru's seaside desert capital, suffocating it under a ponderous gray cloudbank and fog that coats the city with nighttime drizzles. In one cardboard-and-wood shack, 41-year-old Digna Salvador tells a visiting journalist that it takes her clothing 12 days to dry on the line. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 24, 2013 photo, Yunet Valenzuela heads home with her daughter Meliza Abigail Diaz in Lima, Peru. For roughly four months a year, the sun abandons Peru's seaside desert capital, suffocating it under a ponderous gray cloudbank and fog that coats the city with nighttime drizzles. Of course no one suffers Lima's winters like the poor huddled in its hilly, fog-draped peripheries. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 2, 2013 photo, members of "Amaral", a Cumbia music band, tape a promotional video back dropped by the "Christ of the Pacific" statue in Lima, Peru. For roughly four months a year, the sun abandons Peru's seaside desert capital, suffocating it under a ponderous gray cloudbank and fog that coats the city with nighttime drizzles. The cold Humboldt current that runs north from Antarctica along the coast is the culprit, colliding with the warmer tropical atmosphere to create the blinding mists called "garua" in coastal Chile and Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 21, 2013 photo, actors with the theater group "Arena y Esteras" perform at the Villa El Salvador district of Lima, Peru. For roughly four months a year, the sun abandons Peru's seaside desert capital, suffocating it under a ponderous gray cloudbank and fog that coats the city with nighttime drizzles. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 19, 2013 photo, a pastor, left, leads a prayer during Maira Condori's burial at the Virgen de Lourdes cemetery in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this Aug. 4, 2013 photo, children stand at a muddy road during an intense drizzle in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 3, 2013 photo, a woman watch at the Pacific Ocean from a waterfront promenade in the Chorrillos neighborhood of Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 27, 2013 photo, a couple play at the waterfront promenade in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 2, 2013 photo, children get out of the sea at the end of a surfing lesson in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 19, 2013 photo, a dog stands on top of an abandoned car in the Villa Lourdes neighborhood of Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this Aug. 13, 2013 photo, stray dogs are seen in the Virgen de las Mercedes neighborhood of Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 21, 2013 photo, a mother plays with her son in a communal playground at the Cerro de Papa neighborhood of Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this Aug. 12, 2013 photo, a man approaches his motorcycle taxi during a foggy morning at the Santa Maria neighborhood in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this June 28, 2013 photo, a man leans forward to show the drops of water in his hair during an intense drizzle in downtown Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this Aug. 6, 2013 photo, children light a bonfire at the Virgen de las Mercedes neighborhood in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 9, 2013 photo, a shopkeeper takes a break in the Chinese neighborhood in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 8, 2013 photo, Raul Santana, 50, looks at posters announcing Cumbia music shows in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 11, 2013 photo, Cristian Lozada, 18, practices stunts on the sands of the Pachacamac ruins in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 17, 2013 photo, trees are seen throw a net that is used to collect water for irrigation from the thick fog in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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In this July 24, 2013 photo, the fog covered stairs leading up to the Bella Vista del Paraiso neighborhood are seen in Lima, Peru. AP / Rodrigo Abd

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