Seeing snow for the first time at 62: Brazilians revel in icy snap
(Reuters) - Temperatures fell across Brazil on Thursday - with rare overnight snowfalls in some spots - as a polar air mass advanced towards the center-south of the global agricultural powerhouse, threatening coffee, sugar cane and orange crops with frost.
Cars, roads, and highways were covered in ice while people took the opportunity to take photos and play in the snow and build snowmen.
"I'm 62 years old and have never seen snow, you know? Seeing the beauty of nature is something indescribable," said truck driver Iodor Goncalves Marques in Cambara do Sul, a municipality in the state of Rio Grande do Sul Interview with TV Globo.
More than 40 cities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul had icy conditions and at least 33 communities had snow, reported meteorology company Somar Meteorologia.
The unusually cold weather in Brazil has already pushed international prices for coffee and sugar soaring, and Friday has been forecast to be the coldest day of the year, according to Marco Antonio dos Santos, a partner in the weather consultancy firm Rural Clima.
In a report on Thursday, dos Santos said the south of Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul, states where farmers grow crops like corn, would face low temperatures on Friday as the cold air wave marched north.
The polar air masses should pull over Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, the big sugar, citrus and coffee producers, on Friday and bring freezing temperatures with them.
According to the meteorology company MetSul, the winds reached a maximum of 80 kilometers per hour (49 mph) in the city of Sao Francisco de Paula, which is rare in Brazil.
"It was worth it. Actually, you hardly feel the cold because the snow is so exciting. It's wonderful, it's wonderful!" Brazilian Joselaine da Silva Marques told TV Globo while enjoying the snow in Cambara do Sul.
(Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Karishma Singh and Sonali Paul)
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