Brazilian winter: how cold does it really get?

Brazil is widely known for its paradisiac beaches and for being a destination mainly associated with Summer and hot weather. But did you know that some regions in Brazil can get really cold to the point it actually snows?

Yes, It does get cold in Brazil during winter, but it’s not the same for every region in the country. While the south area is known to be cold during the season (13ºC – 55ºF), the rest of Brazil is little affected by it, with minimum temperatures ranging from 15 – 17ºC.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the weather and temperature in each region in Brazil, we’ve got your back. In the next topics, we’re going to take a closer look at everything weather-wise, from how each season works to when it’s the best time to travel.

How Do the 4 Seasons Work In Brazil?

Each of the 4 seasons has very distinct and clear effects throughout the regions in Brazil, which we’ll be checking in the following topics. But when exactly does each season begin and end in Brazil?

Before we get into each of the season’s peculiarities, it’s important to understand the basics of the country’s geography, especially since its continental dimensions are the main reason why the weather and temperatures vary so much between the regions.

Brazil is officially divided into 5 portions, which are categorized as follow:

  • South Region – Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul & Santa Catarina
  • Southeast Region – Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais & Espírito Santo
  • North Region – Tocantins, Pará, Amapá, Roraima, Amazonas, Acre & Rondônia
  • Northeast Region – Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte & Sergipe
  • Central-West – Brasília, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul & Goiás

The Brazilian territory is officially divided into the following regions: Central-West (1), Northeast (2), North (3), Southeast (4), and South (5). All regions are affected differently by the seasons, with the south portion of the country being the most affected by the cold – Credit: WikiCommons | Felipe Menegaz

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.

When is Spring in Brazil?

Spring in Brazil begins at the end of September and ends in late December. This season in Brazil (just like the Fall) is extremely enjoyable since the weather is very pleasant and mild throughout all of the regions.

Although not a rule, the temperature during Springtime gradually elevates as the months go by, which also increases the humidity levels. For that reason, this season in Brazil is pretty well-known for occasional rainstorms, especially towards December.

When is Summer in Brazil?

Summer in Brazil starts at the end of December and extends till the end of February. It mostly coincides with the year-end school vacations, which is a crucial factor in why the beaches get so crowded during this season, not only by tourists but also by local residents.

Although Summertime is pretty intense in most of the country, it is scalding hot in Brazil’s north region. The maximum temperature in this region can get to a staggering 31°C (91,4 °F), with a thermal sensation of over 50°C (122 °F).

When is Fall in Brazil?

In Brazil, the Fall season begins at the end of March at the end of June. Like Springtime, this season is mostly pleasant throughout the regions, with the advantage of fewer chances of raining.

The effects of Fall on the climate are mainly noticed in the South, Southeast, and Central-West regions of Brazil, which can experience sudden temperature drops as the day passes (hot days and cold nights).

How Cold Does It Get In Brazil During Wintertime?

There’s 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. 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.

To get a better perspective on how cold it gets during winter, let’s make a quick analysis of each of the 5 areas in the Brazilian territory.

Winter in The South of Brazil

Wintertime in the south region of Brazil is pretty rigid, being affected the most by the cold weather. With continuous cold fronts and polar masses hitting the states during that period, the south of Brazil can get to very low temperatures, sometimes even hitting below zero and experiencing frost and snow on the coldest days.

Frost in Curitiba’s Botanical Garden: most of the south of Brazil experience snow and/or frost during wintertime, making it the coldest region in the country – Credit: WikiCommons | Samir Nosteb

Average Tempeture in the South of Brazil during winter:

Average MAX TemperatureAverage MIN Temperature
22ºC (72ºF)13ºC (55ºF)

During the Winter of 2020, the coldwave season made it snow in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Catarina, which is a recurrent phenomenon in this portion of the country. Both of these places have historically experienced these phenomenons over the years, in various ocasions.

Tourism in the South of Brazil During Winter

Tourism in this portion of the country is pretty popular during wintertime, especially in places like Gramado, Canela, and Curitiba. Since Brazil is mostly a hot country, the cold weather of the south attracts tourists from all over the country, most of them looking to experience more chilly weather for a change.

So expect tons of food-related activities while you’re there, like going to great restaurants, tasting great local wines

Here’s a list of ideas of things to do in the south of Brazil during winter:

  • Visit Vale dos Vinhedos, which is the vineyard region located 75 miles away from Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul)
  • Visit the canyons in Cambará do Sul (Rio Grande do Sul)
  • Enjoy the architecture and gastronomy in Gramado (Rio Grande do Sul)
  • Take the bike tour through Vale Europeu (Paraná)}
  • Visit the historical colonial structures in Morretes (Paraná)

If you want to know what other activities you could be doing in the south of Brazil, we’ve written a piece with a full itinerary on where you could visit while you’re there, so make sure to read it here if you’re interested in knowing more about it.

What Should You Pack?

If you’re up to the task of facing the winter in the south of Brazil, I’d highly suggest you bring some heavy clothing. Key pieces like cardigans and leather or winter coats are almost mandatory to withstand the cold in the southern destinations.

Pair that with a pair of jeans or any warm pants you like, some boots or proper shoes with a thick sock underneath, and you’re ready to go! Make sure you check the weather forecast to see if there are any expected cold fronts during your time there, as that could affect what you’ll be bringing on your trip!

Winter in the Southeast Region of Brazil

Winter in this region of Brazil is primarily marked by cooler temperatures and decreased rainfall. Espírito Santo is particularly affected by the lack of rain, getting pretty dry and cold during this season.

Other than that, winter in the southeast of Brazil is mostly cool but not exactly cold. To give you a better idea of how the maximum and minimum temperatures work during the season, take a look at the following table:

Southeast Winter Average MAX TemperatureAverage MIN Temperature
Mountain Range23 – 25ºC (73 – 77ºF)10 – 12ºC (50 – 54ºF)
Others27 – 28ºC (80 – 82ºF)15 – 17ºC (59 – 63ºF)ºC15 – 17ºC (59 – 63ºF)

Tourism in the Southeast of Brazil During Wintertime

The mountain area and the countryside of each of the four states are where most people tend to travel during the winter, looking to enjoy the cold weather. Here are a few ideas of what you can do in the southeast of Brazil during the cold season:

  • Enjoy the little town vibes of Teresópolis / Petrópolis (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Visit the historical city of Tiradentes (Minas Gerais)
  • Enjoy the natural wonders in Serra Negra (São Paulo)
  • Visit the Inhotim museum in Brumadinho (Minas Gerais)
  • Enjoy the music festivals and gastronomy in Campos do Jordão (São Paulo)

What Should You Pack?

Although it’s Winter, you will most likely experience very few cold days, so bring a light coat or jacket, and you should be just fine. The days are mostly pretty mild, but it can get a bit chilly at night occasionally.

Honestly, here in Rio de Janeiro, I think we may get like a full week of “real cold,” and then that’s it. Sometimes, it gets pretty funny noticing that everybody is wearing their sweaters when it gets below 20ºC, especially since we’re not really used to “low temperatures,” if you can even call it that.

But if you’re thinking about hitting the mountainside of any of the states, it would be wise to bring a heavier coat since the temperatures tend to be way colder than in other areas.

Winter in the North and Northeast Regions of Brazil

Going in the opposite direction of the Southeast region, the winter in the North and Northeast of Brazil is pretty humid and rainy. Mainly because of the region’s position regarding the intertropical converge zone, the downpours are a source of concern, especially since the rainstorms can get pretty intense.

Even during the winter, you’ll still be able to find good weather and sunny days in most states in the north and northeast of Brazil. Bahia, for example, although having already experienced temperatures below 10ºC, rarely gets this cold – Credit: Guia Viajar Melhor

Still, the temperatures are mostly pleasant, as, aside from the mountain range areas, the climate remains warm and mild. Although the rain can spoil a few plans, traveling to those regions in the wintertime can be somewhat rewarding, as the prices are much lower during this period.

Here are the temperatures you’ll most likely experience during winter in the north and northeast of Brazil:

North/Northeast Winter Average MAX TemperatureAverage MIN Temperature
Mountain Range14 – 19ºC (57,2 – 66,2ºF)5 – 10ºC (41 – 50ºF)
Others30 – 32ºC (86 – 89,6ºF)18 – 22ºC (64,4 – 71,6ºF)

Tourism in the North and Northeast of Brazil During Wintertime

Although it doesn’t get much cold throughout most of these two region’s territory, the ridge areas (as you could see from the table above) in both of them can get pretty chilly. But if you’re looking to spend a winter with no low temperatures, there are plenty of destinations to choose from. Here’s what you could be looking at doing in the north and northeast of Brazil during winter:

To enjoy the cold weather:

  • visit the Winter Festival in Garanhuns (Pernambuco)
  • visit the historic sites in Gravatá (Pernambuco)
  • enjoy the local delicacies at the Gastronomic Festival in Martins (Rio Grande do Norte)
  • visit the natural wonders and site in Guaramiranga (Ceará)
  • visit the Mata do Pau Ferro State Park in Areias (Paraíba)

To enjoy warm weather:

  • visit the paradisiac beaches in Fortaleza (Ceará)
  • visit the cliffs that frame the beaches in Canoa Quebrada (Ceará)
  • enjoy the parties and the heat in Porto Seguro (Bahia)
  • visit the beaches in Belém (Pará) – which we’ve done a complete guide right here
  • explore all things nature related in Jalapão (Tocantins)

What Should You Pack?

Depending on what kind of trip you’re making (and the destination you chose), you may need to think wisely about what you’ll be packing. If you’re planning on going to the mountain range area, definitely bring a sturdy jacket and some warm pants, as some spots get really really cold.

But if you’re thinking about enjoying a more mild temperature while you travel to the north or northeast of Brazil, bring your beach pieces and light clothing. Even the constant rains won’t let the temperature drop to the point you’ll feel cold, but if you’re unsure, pack a light jacket, and you should be just fine.

Winter In The Central-West Region of Brazil

The climate in the Central-West region of Brazil is usually pretty dry throughout the year, but it gets especially parched during winter. While the rain and storms are very present during the summer in this region, winters are inversely proportional, with little to no rain during this season.

At the end of the day, the weather and temperatures are predominantly warm, which is very characteristic of the semi-humid climate in the region.

It may not look like winter, but even during the cold season, you can still contemplate and enjoy the beautiful sunsets at the orange-strewn skies in Brasília – Credit: Flickr | Joao Vicente

Given the region’s geography (most of the central-west is pretty flat and low, with few to no mountains or highlands), that makes the temperatures more even throughout the states housed by this region, with no major differences to the different locations.

Here’s what to expect in the Central-West of Brazil during the winter:

Central-West Winter Average MAX TemperatureAverage MIN Temperature
All locations15 – 24ºC (59 – 75,2ºF)8 – 18ºC (46,4 – 64,4ºF)

Tourism in the Central-West of Brazil During Wintertime

Winter in the central-west of Brazil is what some people would call perfect weather. The days are beautiful and sunny while the nights are chilly and cold. That gives you the chance to do all kinds of things, from enjoying nature during the daytime to appreciating good food and drinks at night.

Here are a few examples of what you could be doing during winter in this portion of the Brazilian country:

  • enjoy the sunsets and the orange skies at Praça do Cruzeiro (Brasília)
  • visit the water parks and hot water fountains at Rio Quente (Goiás)
  • go swimming at the warm rivers at Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul)
  • observe the wild animals (photo safari) at Fazenda São Francisco (Mato Grosso do Sul
  • visit the historic center and the architecture in Cuiabá (Mato Grosso)

What Should You Pack?

Since you’ll most likely experience all different types of weather during winter in the Central-West region of Brazil, I’d suggest you pack for all occasions. Light pieces of clothing like t-shirts, tanks, and shorts will surely keep you from the heat during the day, as a heavier coat and a pair of warm pants are enough to maintain you comfortable at night.

Before you start packing, take a look at the local weathercast to see if there are any unusual cold fronts expected to hit the region, as the temperatures could drop considerably lower if it happens.

Oh, and if you are interested to know about what really happened in regards to the polar cold air mass that hit Brazil in July 2021, check out this article we made discussing what was fake and what was true about the subject!

We’ve reached the end of our winter tour around Brazil! Hope we were able to clear your questions in regards to how cold it gets throughout the regions in the country, there’s a lot to visit even during the cold season!

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

All you need to know about snow in Brazil – Where and when exactly can you experience snow in Brazil? Click to find out!

5 Vacation Ideas In Brazil For All Kinds Of Travelers – If you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip to Brazil, we’ve got just the post for you!

10 Historical Places In Brazil You Need To Visit – Looking for a trip filled with Brazilian history and culture? We got your back with the most amazing places you should be looking at visiting while you’re here!

Related Questions

Does Brazil Get Snow?

Yes, it does snow in Brazil. The south region of the country (especially in the high planes in Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, and Paraná) is known for being the coldest in the country, having experienced snow and frost several times in the past. Other locations outside the south of Brazil also have had snow in the past, but it’s very rare it should happen.

What Is The Coldest City in Brazil?

Urupema is officially the coldest city in Brazil. in 2020, the city registered -8ºC (-46,6 ºF) in July, the coldest month in Urupema. Although it didn’t properly snow, there were sights of frost throughout most of the town, a phenomenon that is pretty common for the local citizens.

Cover Photo: frost as seen in Santa Maria Trekking Club in Rio Grande do Sul | Credits: Flickr – Clube Trekking Santa Maria

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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