São Paulo city, in the Brazilian Southeast, had today its 44th consecutive day of rains and arguably the worst so far, with the whole city being put in state of attention. Congonhas airport was closed, rivers flooded and there were reports of hail at about 4:45 pm.
The CGE (Center for Emergency Management) had decreed a state of attention for the entire city of Sao Paulo at 4 pm. Due to the overflow of the Ipiranga stream and the Aricanduva river the regions of Ipiranga, Aricanduva and Itaquera entered state of emergency at the end of day.
In just three days of February São Paulo had 132 mm (5.2 inches) of rain, which corresponds to 44% of historical average for the month. The excessive heat since the beginning of the week has been pointed out as the main culprit for the storms.
At about 6 pm, according to the Traffic Engineering Company (CET), São Paulo had 32 points of flooding, 16 of them impassable. At that same time, the city recorded 130 miles (81 miles) of gridlock. The worst point was in the Marginal Pinheiros, going to Interlagos. There were 9.4 kilometers (5.9 miles) of slow traffic there.
The bad weather also forced the Congonhas Airport, in the south side, to close for landings and takeoffs at 4 pm, reopening only one hour and a half later. Sixteen percent of the flights were late or had to be canceled.
Meanwhile, the temperature in the city of Rio de Janeiro peaked at 40° C (104° F) at 4 pm, on Thursday, according to the Climatempo. The high temperature was recorded in Campo dos Afonsos, in the west side of the city. In the north, the Tom Jobim International Airport recorded 38° C.
The temperature also reached 40° C in the city of Criciúma, Santa Catarina, as measured at the local airport.
In Urussanga, in southern Santa Catarina, the thermometers read 38.7° C, according to the National Meteorology Institute (Inmet). In Indaial, in Vale do Itajaí, the heat reached 39.1° C.
According to Climatempo, the strong heat recorded this week is due to a large and strong high pressure system that moved over Brazil. The reduction of moisture levels caused by this system caused the amount of clouds to also decrease over the states of the South, Southeast and Midwest regions of Brazil.