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Rare snow transforms Brazil into winter wonderland

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 8/1/2021 Maura Kelly

Brazil may be known for beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests and temperate climate, but portions of the country looked more like a winter wonderland this week as snow made a rare appearance in the South American country.

One of the strongest polar air masses so far this year intruded into southern Brazil earlier this week, according to MetSul Meteorologia.

This influx of cold air also brought snow to more than 30 cities in Rio Grande do Sul, according to weather forecast company Somar Metereologia.

Residents across the southernmost state of Brazil took to the streets to enjoy this rare weather event. Some built tiny snowmen, others started a snowball fight and some just ventured out to take in the wintry showers. Videos showed up to an inch (3 cm) of accumulated snow Wednesday night in portions of the state.

a cow is standing in the snow © Provided by AccuWeather
A man plays with snow at a farm in rural Sao Joaquim, Brazil, Thursday, July 29, 2021. A fierce cold snap on Wednesday night prompted snowfall in southern Brazil, where such weather is a phenomenon. (AP Photo/Mycchel Legnaghi)

Iodor Goncalves Marques told reporters from ABC News that, at 62 years old, he had never seen snow. "To see nature's beauty is something indescribable," he added.

"It was worth it," Joselaine de Dilva Marques told reporters, referring to venturing outside in the frigid temperatures. "Actually, you almost do not feel the cold because of how exciting the snow is... It's marvelous!"

This snow made its appearance along with a shot of unusual cold for the region.


In Caxias do Sul, located north of Porto Alegre, temperatures began trending lower on Tuesday. By early Wednesday morning, local time, the mercury fell to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree below zero C). Low temperatures were even colder on Thursday and Friday mornings as thermometers only reached 27 F (2.8 degrees below zero C) and 25 F (3.9 degrees below zero C), respectively.

Normal low temperatures for this city during the end of July are around 47 F (8 C).

Low temperatures in Bagé and Santa Maria ranged from 30-32 F (1 degree below zero to 0 C) during the early morning hours of Thursday and Friday. Normal low temperatures in these cities are around 50 F (10 C) during the second half of July.

Even lower temperatures likely occurred in the highest elevations.

According to MetSul Meteorologia, this cold snap is among some of the worst in the first 20 years of this century.

Temperatures across Rio Grande do Sul have already began trending higher throughout the weekend as winds began to turn out of the north, bringing warmer air back into the region. This trend is expected to continue into the middle of the week.

An area of high pressure that built over central South America last week helped to usher in the polar air mass, which led to the rare outbreak of wintry weather.

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