Monthly weather forecast and climate

Flag of Brazil
Flag of Brazil

The climate of Brazil

Brazil is a vast country with diverse climate patterns ranging from tropical (Köppen climate classification Af, Am, Aw) in the north and west, to temperate in the south (Köppen Cwa, Cwb). The northeastern part of the country is semi-arid to arid (Köppen BWh, BSh). The core climatic pattern is tropical due to the location near the equator. A minor portion of the south has an oceanic climate type, with its variants (Köppen Cfa, Cfb). Summers are hot and humid, while winters are mild in the majority of the country. Brazil occupies a large portion in South America and shares borders with Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname in the north, Argentina, and Paraguay in the southwest, Uruguay in the south, Bolivia, and Peru in the west, and Colombia in the northwest. The tropical location, a vast network of rivers, and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, influence the climate.

Brazil has a diverse topography of hills, mountains, highlands, and plains, but the average altitude lies between 200 meters to 600 meters. The Atlantic Ocean on the east gives a vast coastline of 4655 miles. The equator and Tropic of Capricorn pass through Brazil, and the rainforest of the Amazon has the richest biodiversity in the world. The Guiana Highlands form a dividing range that separates rivers flowing between the Amazon Basin in the south and the Orinoco river system in the north. The southeast has a rugged terrain with many mountain ranges of moderate elevations. A part of the northeast is arid, while the Atlantic Ocean regulates temperatures near the eastern coast. High evaporation rates make it challenging to grow crops in the northeast. Pico da Neblina has the highest point at 2994 meters in Brazil.

Summers are hot, humid, and wet in Brazil. The seasonal cycle reverses in the portion of the country that lies south of the equator. January sees the highest temperatures of the year, while June registers the lowest. Temperatures above 37.8°C (100°F) frequently occur in the northeast during the dry season. The Amazon region is humid, but temperatures above 32.2°C (90°F) are rare. The Atlantic coast sees moderate annual temperatures between 22.8°C (73°F) to 27.2°C (81°F), which decreases further going south of Rio de Janeiro and at high altitudes. Northern Brazil has significant temperature variations between day and night. Winters are mild with rare, freezing temperatures only in the high mountain areas. Snowfall occurs in the subtropical highlands, such as the Caxias do Sul in the southern region. Frost and snow are common on the high plateaus and mountains south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Many microclimates exist in Brazil, but the seasons are unique in the south of the country.

Brazil receives annual rainfall between 990.6mm (39") to 1498.6mm (59"), with a significant percentage of it from December to April. The northeast is mostly arid, while the west and center receive 1524mm (60") to 2032mm (80") of rain, with a dry season in the middle of the year. The east and south do not have a dry season. The mouth of the Amazon receives more than 2006.6mm (79") of precipitation annually, while western Amazon records more than 2997.2mm (118"). Central Brazil has seasonal rainfall between 1397mm (55") to 1778mm (70"), with a tropical savanna climate. Coastal cities enjoy a warm climate with constant trade winds. Humidity is high near the coast and in the interior of the Amazon Basin. Subtropical temperatures keep the conditions mild south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Brazil receives ample sunshine between 2400 to 3000 hours annually, courtesy to its proximity to the equator.

The record high temperature for Brazil is 44.7°C (112.5°F), set in Bom Jesus, Piaui, on November 21, 2005. The lowest recorded temperature to date is -13.9°C (7°F), set in Cacador, Santa Catarina, on June 11, 1952.

The best time to visit Brazil

The best time to visit Brazil is usually in the mild winter, which lasts from June to August south of the equator. The coldest period is also less rainy and reasonably sunny everywhere, except for a portion in the south. The south is occasionally cold, especially at high altitudes, and registers frost and snow. The ocean waters at an average of 13.9°C (57°F) are cold in Rio in August and register between 21.1°C (70°F) to 23.9°C (75°F) in March.
The sea temperatures on the coasts of north-central Brazil are warm enough for swimming throughout the year. The Amazon rainforest is much friendlier during periods of less rain and humidity. Flora and fauna are much visible during the bright and dry periods when the sunrays hope to touch the ground.

The worst time to visit Brazil

The worst time to visit Brazil is during the hot summer from December to February when the heat and humidity are high. The equatorial location is prone to daily rain, and the sticky conditions become quickly unbearable for people from temperate regions. Heavy rainfall occurs in many parts of the country during the summer. Rivers flood quickly, and the swelling waters become an obstruction.
The Amazon Basin is notorious for humid conditions, and the combination of summer and rain is a breeding period for mosquitoes. The southern temperate portion of the country offers respite from the heat at high elevations, if a summer trip is mandatory. The eastern beaches see fewer crowds during the hot and wet season.

Weather hazards

Brazil is vulnerable to thunderstorms, floods, and droughts in the summer. Intense rainfall brings floods in many regions due to the large river systems in the country. Heatwaves last for extended periods in the northeast when temperatures soar above 37.8°C (100°F). Droughts frequently occur in the northeast and last for long periods due to less rain and scarcity of water. The droughts in 1877 and 1915 brought large scale devastation, with loss of life. Thunderstorms with lightning are a common occurrence in the summer. Tropical storms occasionally strike coastal areas, such as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Vitoria, Santos, and Curitiba. Brazil rarely sees tropical cyclones of high intensity due to its location near the South Atlantic Ocean.

Weather in January

January is usually the hottest month of the year in Brazil, as the New Year dawns in the clutches of the intense sun. The average temperatures in Brasilia, the capital, are moderate between 17.2°C (63°F) to 27.2°C (81°F), even at the peak of summer due to its high altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. Weather in January »

Weather in February

February is hot, humid, and wet in Brazil, with plenty of sunshine and mostly bright skies. The average rainfall ranges from 101.6mm (4") to 304.8mm (12") in much of the country. The humidity levels keep the heat index high in the summer, even though extreme temperatures occur rarely. Sao Paulo, on the southern coast, receives 215.9mm (8.5") of rain, with warm temperatures in the 18.9°C (66°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) range. Weather in February »

Weather in March

March brings ample rain, heat, and humidity in Brazil. The blistering sunshine mandates sun hats and light-weighted clothing in much of the country. The average temperatures are between 21.1°C (70°F) to 32.2°C (90°F), with moderate temperatures in the south, and particularly in the southeast. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April sees a significant reduction in heat in Brazil at the end of the summer season. Palmas and Porto Velho in the north have average temperatures between a warm 20.6°C (69.1°F) to a hot 31.7°C (89.1°F), with 203.2mm (8") to 254mm (10") of rainfall. The northeast is rainy and hot, with temperatures in the hot 22.2°C (72°F) to 32.2°C (90°F) range. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is a beautiful month in Brazil with comfortable temperatures and a decrease in rainfall. The skies are bereft of clouds, and the stickiness in the air gives way to generally comfortable conditions. The temperatures drop from the height of summer, with the advance of the autumn in southern Brazil. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June begins the winter season in Brazil with conditions ranging from mild to cold. The north sees dry periods, although the precipitation is imminent much throughout the rainforest. The region north of the Amazon rainforest is savannah type, with the highest rainfall at 360.7mm (14.2") in Boa Vista. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is the coldest month of the year in several parts of Brazil, but there is plenty of sunshine. The southern region sees a significant drop in temperatures along with an increase in rainfall. Florianopolis registers coldest temperatures of the year between 12.8°C (55°F) to 20°C (68°F), 99.1mm (3.9") of rain, with daily sunshine of 5 hours. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August is a mild winter month in Brazil with beautiful sunshine and slightly short days. The region near the equator has warm temperatures and adequate sunshine, but the dry season sees relatively less rain. Winter is an excellent time to explore the hinterlands, where the cold is moderate at best. Porto de Galinhas has a beautiful fantastic beach with mild seawater temperatures, white sands, and clear waters. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September brings the spring season in the south of Brazil, with lush greenery and freshness in the air. The coldness of the winter gives way to warm temperatures everywhere. Freeing nights and snowfall are rare even in the high mountains, with the dawn of the spring. September is mostly dry in the north, but moderately wet in the south. Weather in September »

Weather in October

October is dry in much of Brazil, with the spring season in advanced stages. The woodlands adorn colors, and the lake shores are blissful. Farmlands prepare for the growing season in much of the country. The dry season gives way to a wet one in the central and northern regions. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November is the beginning of the rainy season in the central and northern parts of Brazil. The wet season sees 15 to 20 rainy days, with 203.2mm (8") to 254mm (10") of precipitation in the north, central, and western parts of Brazil. Weather in November »

Weather in December

December begins the hot and humid summer in Brazil, with a significant rise in the heat index. Recife, Natal, and Salvador in the northeast register average high temperatures in the hot 29.4°C (84.9°F) to 32.2°C (90°F) range. Weather in December »