With the cold front that hit Brazil in late July, images of white mountain tops, people under many layers of clothing, and even snowboarders popped up online in Brazilian newspapers and on social media sites. It snows mostly in the three southern states of Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, and Santa Catarina. The main cities in the mountainous regions of these states where it has snowed the most are São Joaquim (SC), Urubici (SC) and São José dos Ausentes (RS), located inland, on the border between Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
The recent snowfall hit 87 cities, making it one of the largest, geographically, in Brazilian history, behind the more than 70 cities affected by a cold front in the year 2000. On average, considering the seven far-reaching snowfalls in Brazil of the last century, such events happen every 14 years.
As far as depth, it’s hard to believe but 134 years ago, in a border town of Rio Grande do Sul called Vacaria, the snow was 6.5 feet deep. There have been two other similar occurences (the second of which, in 1957, was 4.2 feet deep), depth-wise, in the South and Southwest since then but none as significant.
Heavy snow aside, snow of any kind in winter isn’t that rare in certain parts of the south of the country. If you’re in Brazil during June or July of any year, check out the forecast in the areas I mentioned, as it may be snowing somewhere long enough for you to catch a glimpse.
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Luciana was caught in last July’s cold front. While almost freezing, she wrote this lesson on colloquial Portuguese:
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