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Heat Wave Continues for Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia

By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
October 19, 2014, 8:45:59 AM EDT

Southern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia remain in the midst of a baking and, for some, record heat wave.

Temperatures in southern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia will continue to soar 6 to 12 C (10 to 20 F) above normal through Saturday as cooling thunderstorms remain absent.

This includes in Asuncion in Paraguay, Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia and Sao Paulo in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro will heat up this weekend.

The heat wave is dangerous for those who do not take the necessary precautions, such as spending the hot days in a building that is air conditioned or has fans that are running in high gear.

Residents who must spend significant time outdoors are reminded to drink plenty of water, wear light clothing and avoid strenuous activities/labor during the midday and afternoon hours (the hottest time of the day).


The Brazilian capital of Brasilia broke its all-time record high on Wednesday as temperatures soared to 36.0 C (97 F). The previous record was 35.8 C (96.4 F) from Oct. 28, 2008, according to data obtained from the Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology.

That record will once again be challenged as a strong dome of high pressure continues to bake southern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia into this weekend.

"Temperatures will approach the all-time record high in Brasilia daily through Saturday but have the best opportunity to tie or break it on Sunday," stated Meteorologist Rob Miller.

A high around 27.5 C (lower 80s F) is more common in Brasilia during October.

Brasilia, Brazil, Detailed Forecast
Asuncion, Paraguay, Detailed Forecast
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Detailed Forecast

October can be a hot time of year for the zone from Bolivia to central and eastern Brazil as the heat builds up ahead of the rainy season that typically unfolds in the summer and yields daily storms, according to Miller.

"The heat, however, is usually not this prolonged and the rains have usually started falling by now."

A return of showers and thunderstorms will break down the extreme heat in a southwest-to-northeast fashion early next week. However, Miller anticipates the storminess to wait until midweek to spread northward to Brasilia.

The rainfall will also be welcome in these areas as an ongoing drought has plagued water supplies and crops for over a year.

Rainfall has averaged around only 50 percent of normal this year in eastern Brazil, leading to water rationing in some areas.

Also, the Brazilian coffee crop has been negatively impacted by the drought, and the ongoing heat is only making matters worse.

Brazil is the top producer of Arabica coffee, so any impacts on the crop will have major influences around the globe.

Market prices have already reached two-year highs, and this will likely lead to increased prices for consumers in the coming months. Meteorologist Eric Leister contributed to the content of this story.

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