An unprecedented cold wave in Brazil for the month of May has been labeled a threat both to the country's thousands of homeless people and also to crops, it was reported Thursday.
A 1.4°C mark in Brasilia Thursday became the coldest temperature in the city's history since it was founded in 1960, with over a month to go before the official beginning of Winter in the southern hemisphere (June 21).
Sao Paulo also recorded a most unusual temperature of 6.6°C Wednesday, the second-lowest for the month of May since 1990, when it hit -4°C.
The abrupt drop in temperature is due to Cyclone Yakecan, of anomalous trajectory, which dragged an air current from Antarctica and spread it over the interior of South America, meteorologist Estael Sias explained. Sias also said these severe and most anomalous climatic events were a consequence of climate change.
As a result of the weather conditions, a 66-year-old homeless man died while waiting in line at a food distribution center in Sao Paulo, it was reported. Sao Paulo's authorities announced the opening of 2,000 additional places in emergency shelters, thus upping the total capacity to around 17,000 for a city with 32,000 homeless people, twice as many as in 2015 and 31% more than three years ago, before the coronavirus pandemic.
In the southern state of Santa Catarina, which has been recording temperatures below 2°C for several days, snow has made a most unusual appearance. Tourists from nearby locations have flocked to the small city of Urupema to see snow for the first time in their lives.
The Inmet weather agency has also warned about possible consequences of the cold wave on Brazilian agriculture, particularly the risk of frosts that threaten orchard crops and also corn and sugar cane harvests.