Heat wave generates record temperatures of up to 50º in Argentina, and also hits southern Brazil and Uruguay

Buenos Aires recorded the fourth highest temperature in history on Tuesday; even cities in Serra Gaúcha can reach 40 degrees

Mara Sosti / AFPArgentina is experiencing a heat wave, which has crowded beaches and left the electrical system operating at the limit

One heat wave has caused above-average temperatures for the beginning of the year in south of Brazil, Besides Argentina e Uruguay. A mass of hot, dry air, parked over the area, caused the situation, which can reverberate in several problems. Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, recorded on Tuesday, 11, a temperature of 41.1ºC, the fourth highest ever recorded in the history of the city. In Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre should approach 40º in the next few days, and reach up to 44º C on Sunday, according to a forecast by the MetSul meteorology service. The city of Uruguaiana, for example, should have highs between 42º and 44º until next Monday, the 17th, and even municipalities in Serra Gaúcha, the coldest region in the state, can reach and exceed the 40º mark. The National Institute of Meteorology (Imnet), an agency linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil, issued a warning of danger due to the heat wave in the state.

Temperatures are between 10º and 15º above normal for this time of year, which is already quite hot as it is summer. High temperatures reach up to 50º in some areas of Argentina, and are between 41º and 43º in Uruguay. As it is a wave of dry air, it prolongs the drought, which has left 159 municipalities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul on alert since November and causes damage to the region’s agriculture, mainly in the production of grains, fruits, vegetables and milk. The electrical system, already in trouble due to the lack of rain, can be overloaded with the increased use of air conditioning units and lead to supply crises and blackouts, such as what happened in Buenos Aires Tuesday, when 11 neighborhoods and about 700,000 people were left without light. Finally, forest fires can start more easily, such as the one that destroyed 37 thousand hectares in the Paysandú and Río Negro regions, in Uruguay, in the first days of 2022. Regarding individual health, the Civil Defense of the affected places recommends that the population avoid going out in the sun without sunscreen, stay hydrated and try to stay in ventilated spaces.

January and annual record 1961-2021

(**) 2nd highest T 1906-2021

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— SMN Argentina (@SMN_Argentina)

January 12, 2022

 

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