While Brazil’s capital city certainly isn’t renowned for cool temperatures, few residents expected summer heat levels to reach almost 40°C. Average high temperatures throughout March and April tend to hover around 32°C, but this year’s heat wave has seen daytime temperatures boosted to as much as 39.7°C.
While Rio’s more wealthy residents can afford to sit inside with their air conditioning service, many of the city’s workers have been forced to continue in the deadly heat. Fatigue has been quite common amongst labourers and outdoor employees, with many shops and restaurants forced to close due to the daytime heat.
Over 30 people have died as a result of the heatwave, primarily ill and elderly resident of Rio’s southern districts. Heat throughout southern Brazil has been particularly high since mid-March, although the sudden surge in temperatures has been somewhat unexpected. With Rio’s world famous carnival due to begin soon, many residents are praying for an end to the extreme heat.
Rio’s record temperature is 39.7°C – at an international level, not a particularly hot temperature. However, the city’s humidity and direct sunlight has resulted in record isolated temperatures, with certain areas reaching well above 40°C.