Record heat in Brazil and major floods – is this what hell looks like?

upały w Brazylii

When we think of Brazil, we imagine beautiful beaches, sunny weather and the unique Atlantic Ocean. South America’s largest country is for the most part located in a tropical climate zone, making the air temperature there stay above 25°C all year round. Unfortunately, what would have seemed like paradise has turned into a real hell. The heat in Brazil has reached its apogee – last Sunday the felt temperature in Rio de Janeiro was as high as 62.3°C.

Record heat in Brazil

The end of March marks the beginning of spring for Poles, and the twilight of summer for Brazilians. Or at least it should be, because the weather is making a mockery of the calendar and the heat has no intention of relenting. On the contrary. Rio’s Operations Center (COR) reported that the heat in the Brazilian capital reached as high as 40.4 degrees Celsius on Sunday, with a felt temperature as much as 20 degrees Celsius higher at the same location. These are record indicators in the history of measurement. It is worth mentioning that on Saturday – according to the Rio Alert System – a felt temperature of 62.3°C was recorded at the Guaratiba station at 9:55 am. Unfortunately, the almost hellish heat has settled in Brazil for good and has no intention of relenting.

São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in a veritable inferno

On Monday, the maximum temperature was 38°C and the perceptible temperature was 50°C, so the Municipal Health Department decided to issue a warning. They advise Brazilian residents and tourists against going outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and recommend taking care to hydrate regularly and use sunscreen. Experts fear that Rio de Janeiro, like São Paulo, will record a record average temperature of 35.3°C for the entire month. This would be a meteorological rarity, as Brazil has never recorded such heat in March.

Record readings of Rio’s Alert System

In 2023 and 2024, the Guaratiba station recorded the highest heat:

  • 59.3°C on November 17, 2023;
  • 59.7°C on November 18, 2023;
  • 59.5°C° on January 17, 2024;
  • 60.1°C on March 16, 2024;
  • 62.3°C on March 17, 2024.

On Sunday (March 17) until 3:00 pm, temperature readings in various areas of Rio de Janeiro were as follows:

  • Jardim Botânico – 57.7°C;
  • Barra/Riocentro – 52.0°C;
  • Guaratiba – 62.3°C;
  • Santa Cruz – 52.4°C;
  • São Cristóvão – 51.4°C.

Will the hot weather in Brazil continue in the coming days?

On Wednesday, the weather in the Brazilian capital was unstable, with partial to total cloud cover, as predicted by Alerta Rio, with a predominance of rapid rainfall of moderate intensity in the afternoon and evening hours. The minimum temperature was 23°C, and the maximum temperature was 37°C. On Thursday, March 21, the City’s Operations Center reported that the city of Rio de Janeiro has entered ETAP 2 due to the passage of a cold front. This means that there has been a risk of large-scale phenomena, and residents should remain vigilant and follow weather reports in the official media.

According to Alerta Rio, the passage of a cold front combined with a surge of moisture from the Atlantic has made the weather in the city unstable, with moderate to heavy rainfall and dropping temperatures. The weather forecast for the next few days is for unstable weather conditions to continue, with weak to moderate precipitation.

São Paulo under water

The heat is not the only bane of Brazil. Along with the high temperatures came heavy rainfall, and as a result, the eastern and northern areas of São Paulo were hit by flooding. On Sunday (March 17), a state of alert was in effect. Unfortunately, there are already the first flood victims. One São Paulo resident drowned in her own apartment, another went missing. Experts fear that there could be more such tragic situations.

Brazil, a country usually associated with paradisiacal conditions, is facing extreme weather challenges that are testing the resilience of its people and infrastructure. Record heat and devastating floods are a reminder of the power of nature and the need to adapt to changing climatic conditions.

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