Cold snap in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo

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Sao Paulo – In Rio de Janeiro, brave swimmers have been discouraged from diving into the cold sea, when Sao Paulo authorities were forced to open a subway station to house the homeless due to unusually low temperatures in southern Brazil on Friday.

Temperatures dropped below 23 Fahrenheit (-5 Celsius) Friday morning in the state of Santa Catarina, covering several municipalities with a thin layer of snow. Terrible hailstorms hit residents of the western region of Rio earlier this week. For many Brazilians, accustomed to more calm climates in tropical South American countries, such events are considered extreme.

Earlier this week, authorities at the Rio Grande do Sul canceled football matches, closed government buildings early and suspended classes at schools and universities for fear of major disruptions. There, about 182,000 homes were without electricity on Tuesday.

Temperatures began to drop earlier this week as tropical cyclone Yakekan approached, before bringing down a tropical storm on Thursday.

Weather forecasters say the cold snap has been blocked by a storm in the south of the country and will continue until next Tuesday, when the navy expects a 4-meter (13-foot) wave to hit the Rio coast by Friday night.

At least one person has died of hypothermia in Sao Paulo due to a cold wave in Brazil. Some subway stations were open Friday to protect the homeless, and charities were providing soup and blankets to the needy.

Brazil’s National Institute of Meteorology has forecast strong winds all Friday, 510 miles (820 kilometers) south of the city of Rio and Curitiba.

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