Cold Weather in Brazil: Is It Fake News?


If you have been watching the weather forecast in the past few days, you may have heard about an intense mass of cold air coming from the Polar region that would arrive in Brazil and lower the temperatures in several locations. And while that is true, there may be a few misconceptions and fake news about the subject.

Yes, there is a mass of cold air about to hit Brazil in the last week of July 2021, but contrary to what has been said in the news all over the world, the country will not be facing the most intense cold wave of the century.

In this post, we are going to establish what is fake news and what is not regarding the latest news on the Brazilian cold wave, according to the Brazilian forecast website Clima Tempo.

What Is Fake News And What Is Not?

To clear the air about the latest news regarding the cold wave in Brazil, we decided to answer a few of the top-searched questions in regards to this issue:

Is Brazil Being Hit With the Coldest Weather of the Last Century?

Nope, that’s totally fake news! While there is indeed a cold air mass of polar origin arriving in the country as of this July 28th, there are no expectations of it dropping the temperatures so low that it would snow in other places other than the South Region of the country.

The cold air mass will cause a very sharp drop in temperature in the center-south of Brazil and even in areas of the North Region, but the only areas that will truly be affected by snow are the mountain areas of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina (which as we have seen in this post we wrote, are pretty used to having ice-cold weather during the Winter time).

Will The Thermal Sensation In Brazil Reach -25ºC?

Well, that may sound absurd, but it is true! In addition to the low temperature, the thermal sensation will also drop due to the presence of moderate winds. Therefore, in high mountain areas (especially between Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina), the overall thermal sensation can indeed reach -25ºC. Brrrrrr!!!

Is There Going Be Snow in Rio de Janeiro?

Fake, fake, fake! Initially, the meteorological forecast had indeed previewed conditions for low intensity snow at the Pico do Itatiaia region, where there was a record of -9.9º C at the Itatiaia National Park (which has an altitude of almost 8k feet).

However, Climatempo did not confirm the chance of snow in the region, which should only observe a little bit of frost in the coming days. It is noteworthy that the current cold record in Brazil in 2021 (considering inhabited places with regular human activity) is -8.2°C on July 20, in Urupema, a city in the highest portion of the Santa Catarina mountain range.

So if you were counting on making snow angels at the Copacabana beach, you might be disappointed.

Will the Cold Wave in Brazil Last Longer?

That is unfortunately true, especially for us who are not very used to cold weather. The main thing about this cold air mass is that it will persist for more consecutive days than the usual.

Will The Cold Break Records in São Paulo?

Another fake news! In the coming days, temperates are indeed going to drop considerably, but there is no chance of a historic cold record, only a record for the lowest temperature of the year (so far). The most intense cold in the city in 2021 will be 4ºC on July 30th, with a risk of frosts.

Did The Canadian and American Governments Warn About the Cold Wave in Brazil?

Nope, Fake news! There was no official warning from the Canadian or American governments in regards to the cold wave that is about to hit Brazil. What happened was that there had been a little confusion regarding the meteorological models, which are used as the foundation for weather and climate predictions.

The American forecasting model (GFS) and the Canadian model (CMC) have indeed predicted to intense cold in Brazil, but there was no official warning from the authorities of these countries.

Winter In Brazil 101

Now that we have cleared all the fake news surrounding the cold wave in Brazil let’s talk facts! There is a popular saying here in Brazil that goes, “there are only 2 seasons in Brazil, Summer, and Winter”; which is a take on how Summer, Fall, and Spring are very similar to one another during those periods.

But although that might be true, the weather, humidity, and rainy periods are affected very differently by all four seasons, so it’s important to understand how each of them works. We have covered this information more thoroughly in our Brazilian Winter post, so don’t forget to check it out in case you want to know how cold it can really get in the country.

When is Winter in Brazil?

Winter in Brazil starts at the end of June and extends till the end of August. In most of the territory, Wintertime is not that harsh, given the country’s location regarding the Equator line.

The south region of the country is especially cold during the winter, with some states hitting negative temperatures occasionally. Just as a curiosity, the state of Santa Catarina has registered one the coldest temperature in Brazil’s history in 1996, a chilling −17,8 °C.

Where Can You See Snow In Brazil?

As we mentioned earlier, the southern region of the Brazilian territory is the most common place to snow in the country, mainly in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, where most of Brazil’s coldest places are located.

There are the most common places to snow in Brazil:

  • Gramado – Rio Grande do Sul (RS)
  • São José dos Ausentes – Rio Grande do Sul (RS)
  • Cambará do Sul – Rio Grande do Sul (RS)
  • São Joaquim – Santa Catarina (SC)
  • Urupema – Santa Catarina (SC)
  • Urubici – Santa Catarina (SC)

We have gone over the main snow-related activities you will be able to do in each of these locations in this post, so don’t forget to take a look and check in which places you’ll be able to go skiing!

So, I hope we were able to clear a few of the fake news and rumors surrounding the latest cold wave to hit Brazil! Unfortunately, fake news spread very easily on social networks, and therefore, always look for information on credible portals – like yours truly ;-), and check for reliable sources!

While you are here, I think we might interest you with these:

São Paulo on a rainy day: 12 things to do (8 surprising ones!) – if you are heading to São Paulo and the weather forecast predicts a few stormy days, don’t worry, my friend! We got just the list that will make you forget all about the rain!

South Brazil Itinerary: travel through the REAL South – the South of Brazil is a well-known spot for having the coldest weather in the country, but do you know exactly what you can do in the region? Look no further; we have the ultimate guide for you!

11 Great Reasons To Move to Brazil – Samba, good weather, Carnaval…if these 3 things weren’t enough to convince you to move to Brazil ASAP, we have 11 more reasons on why you should be looking for tickets right now!

Cover Photo: manipulated photo of The Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro during a snow storm – Credit: ID 165909497 © Brasilnut | Dreamstime.com

Bruno Reguffe

What's up, everyone! I'm Bruno, and I'm a nutritionist living in Rio de Janeiro. I've been a longtime friend of Ana's, and I'm excited to help her expand on all things Brazilian with y'all, as well as sharing some of our culture and a few personal experiences while living in the country!

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