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Heat Wave in Argentina, Flooding in Brazil

By: Christopher C. Burt, 8:32 PM GMT on December 30, 2013

Heat Wave in Argentina, Flooding in Brazil

An intense and prolonged heat wave has enveloped northern Argentina for the past two weeks causing serious power outages and social unrest (this December may go down as the hottest month on record in Buenos Aires--since 1856) while heavy rainfall in southeastern Brazil has resulted in floods that have killed at least 44 so far.

Heat Wave in Argentina

For Buenos Aires, this month is set to be the warmest December on record and perhaps even the warmest single month on record with an average temperature so far of 26.6°C (79.9°F) at the Observatorio site. The previous warmest December was that of 1994 with a 25.5°C (77.9°F) average and the warmest month on record was January 1989 with a 26.6°C (79.9°F) average. Temperature records in Buenos Aires go back to 1856. The city has seen temperatures above 30°C (86°F) everyday since December 13th and over 33°C (91.4°F) since December 22nd. The temperature peaked at 39.0°C (102.2°F) on December 27th (the hottest temperature on record for Buenos Aires is 43.3°C/109.9°F on January 29, 1957 and the average December high is 28.1°C/82.6°F).



Climate data for Buenos Aires for December. With an average temperature of 26.°C (79.9°F) so far, it is possible that this has been the warmest month on record for the city. OGIMET.

The heat wave has prompted the Mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, to declare a state of emergency because of power and water shortages, and the city administration has been ordered to take a day off today (Monday December 30th) to conserve electricity. At least three deaths have so far been attributed to the heat. The heat wave is forecast to break by Wednesday (at least in the Buenos Aires region).

In the northwestern interior of Argentina temperatures over 45°C (113°F) have been observed, with a peak reading of 45.5°C (113.9°F) at Chamical, La Rioja State on December 26th. This is just 1.8°C (3.2°F) shy of the hottest reliably measured temperature in South American history (which was a reading of 47.3°C/117.1°F at Campo Gallo on October 16, 1936—other higher readings such as the oft cited 48.9°C/120°F at Rivadavia on November 12, 1905-were made with questionable instrumentation). The nearby city of Santiago Del Estero has measured 40°C (104°F) or more everyday since December 21st.



The climate table for Santiago Del Estero for the month of December. All but five days of the month have reached 35°C (95°F) or higher. OGIMET.


Flooding in Brazil

According to press reports, torrential rain in Espirito Santo State and Minas Gerais States (north of Rio de Janeiro) has resulted in flash floods and mudslides that have claimed the lives of at least 44. Another 61,000 have been forced to evacuate their homes. Local civil defense officials claimed “the rains to be the worst in 90 years”. Heavy rains have been plaguing portions of Brazil since October and in early December a storm killed 16 and destroyed 200 homes in the city of Lajedinho in Bahia State. This month some exceptional rainfall has fallen. Capelinha, Minas Gerais state has accumulated 930 mm (36.61") of precipitation so far. Aimores, also in Minas Gerais State, has recorded an astonishing 831 mm (32.72") which is 71% of what they normally receive in a year.



The swollen Doce River has overflowed its banks in Vitoria, the capital of Espirito Santo State, flooding portions of the city. So far this December an all-time record monthly rainfall of 714 mm (28.11") has fallen besting the previous wettest month on record of 663 mm (26.10") in November 2008. Precipitation records go back to 1923 here. Photo AFP.

KUDOS: Thanks to Brazilian blog reader 'Loepa' for Buenos Aires monthly tempeature records and Brazilian precipitation records.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Heat Mini Blog Flood

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Hard to imagine temperatures like that when I'm staring down the Euro's Doom Forecast in the middle of winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Thanks for the blog, Chris.
"The heat wave has prompted the Mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, to declare a state of emergency because of power and water shortages ... "

Ow.
Heatwave kills seven in Argentina
BBC News, 1 December 2013 Last updated at 18:54 GMT

A heatwave affecting Argentina has left at least seven people dead - most of them elderly - in the past week, officials say.
The heat has been compounded by power cuts, which have prevented many people from using air conditioning.
In Santiago del Estero and other northern provinces temperatures have soared to over 45C (113F).
Meteorologists say it has been the worst heatwave in the region since records began in 1906. ...
Call it typical SA weather, it's summer anyway.
There was a mistake in the comments about Flooding in Brazil.
The Doce river is located about 100 km North from the city of Vitoria. So the overflooding of its banks couldn't reach the city of Vitoria.
Quoting 5. svenw:
There was a mistake in the comments about Flooding in Brazil.
The Doce river is located about 100 km North from the city of Vitoria. So the overflooding of its banks couldn't reach the city of Vitoria.


You are right. AFP miscaptioned the photo and I should have fact checked it. The city in the photo is actually Governado Valadares in Minas Gerais State.
What i the final monthly temperature average for December in Buenos Aires? Did they have a monthly average of 80 or more and break the record?
Quoting 7. DonnieBwkGA:
What i the final monthly temperature average for December in Buenos Aires? Did they have a monthly average of 80 or more and break the record?


According to the OGIMET data for Observatorio Buenos Aires (the official weather station for the city), the December average came out to be 26.7°C (80.1°F). If verified, this would establish a new all-time warmest month on record (any month) for the site.
A new monthly record wow! Hope January is better for them!

Thanks for answering my question so quickly Mr. Burt!
According to my Argentine contacts (and the SMN Facebook page), the final value for the Buenos Aires mean was 26.6 C, equalling the January 1989 record (and easily breaking the December record).
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
Hi everyone, my name is Ezequiel and i am from Buenos Aires. I hope you understand my english.

Here are the correct daily temperature data of december 2013 in Buenos Aires.

http://www.ogimet.com/cgi-bin/gsynres?lang=en&ind =87585&ndays=31&ano=2014&mes=01&day=01&hora=00&ord =DIR&Send=Send

We have equaled the hottest month ever recorded with a temperature of 26.6C (it is calculated with the average temperature of 3, 9, 15 and 21 local hour).

Of course this became the hottest december since record started in 1906. We also had the highest mensual minimum and maximum temperature of december, they are 21.5C and 32.5C, respectively.

Many areas of the north and central Argentina had a departure of 4 during december. If someone understand spanish you can read this report from our meteorological service
Link

And here you can read more information.
Link

By!