Weather in Brazil
The climate and weather in Brazil varies considerably from region to region. The economic powerhouse of South America has five climatic zones ranging from subtropical, highland tropical, equatorial and semi-arid to tropical. Some Brazilians even include the sixth climatic category of tropical monsoon weather to describe parts of the rainforests in the Amazon Basin. With a little pre-planning, visitors booking flights to Brazil can enjoy warm weather throughout the year.
Brazil spans from the equator to south of the Tropic of Capricorn, therefore this southern hemisphere country follows southern hemisphere season patterns. Spring in Brazil takes place from September to October and November. Summer in Brazil covers the months of December, January and February. Autumn falls in March, April and May. Brazil’s winter months are June, July and August.
Climate and weather in the Amazon
The climate in the Amazon region of Brazil is an equatorial climate, characterised by high humidity, warm weather and a lot of rainfall throughout the year, but particularly from November to May. The average temperature throughout the year in the Amazon region of Brazil is 25°C (77°F) during the day. Night time temperature in Brazil’s Amazon region do drop considerably, particularly in November and again in May as the season changes between the rainy season and the less rainy season.
Weather on Brazil's east coast
Brazil has a long and varied coastline spanning much of the eastern side of South America. The climate in Brazil along this coast does vary slightly depending upon distance from the equator. However, coastal cities such as Rio de Janeiro enjoy warm weather throughout the year with slight variations depending upon the cooler trade winds. The typical climate along Brazil’s coast ranges from tropical to sub-tropical in the south. Average temperatures in Brazil along the coast, particularly in Rio de Janeiro range from 18 to 26°C (64 to 79°F) in winter and 22 to 30°C (72 to 86°F) at the height of summer.
Weather on Brazil's inland plateau
Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, is situated on an inland plateau. The weather in Brasilia, and other parts of the inland plateau is typified by a highland tropical climate also known as a tropical savannah climate. Summers are warm with temperatures from 17 to 28°C (63 to 82°F), while winters are cooler with temperatures averaging 11 to 26°C (52 to 79°F). The rainy season in Brasilia coincides with the summer period and December tends to be the rainiest month.
Weather in southern Brazil
The weather in southern Brazil is characterised by subtropical climatic conditions. Winters temperatures drop below freezing while summers are hot. This part of Brazil lies south of the Tropic of Capricorn, which means that changes from season to season are quite pronounced. Frost is common in winter and areas with higher altitudes sometimes get snowfall as well. The weather in Sao Paulo tends to be very similar to that of the southern parts of Brazil. However Sao Paulo is also closer to the coast so it is slightly warmer than the ‘deep south’. Average winter temperatures in Sao Paulo range between 12 and 22°C (54 to 72°F). Summer temperatures in Sao Paulo range from 17 to 28°C (63 to 82°F). Sao Paulo also gets more rainfall during the summer months.
The weather in northeast Brazil
The weather in the ‘agreste’ and ‘sertao nordestino,’ northeast Brazil, is generally described by a semi-arid climate because of the lack of precipitation in this part of Brazil. While the coastal part of northeast Brazil receives plenty of rainfall as a result of the easterly trade winds, the inland regions and cities such as Caruaru, Arapiraca and Campina Grande generally experience less than 800mm (31.5 inches) of rain per year. Temperatures range from 20 to 38°C (68 to 82°F) in summer and Brazil’s winter temperatures in the northeastern region range between 12 to 16°C (54 to 61°F).
Best time to visit Brazil
The best time to visit Brazil depends largely on where you go and what you want to see and do. Southern Brazil, including Sao Paulo, is best enjoyed in summer, from November to March, as temperatures during winter tend to be quite chilly. Brazil’s weather along the inland plateau and in cities such as Brasilia, is also best enjoyed during the southern hemisphere’s summer months. The altitude in this part of Brazil means that winters are quite cold. Brazil’s beaches can be a year-round attraction, however the water does cool down a bit as you move further south. Beaches such that of Salvador de Bahia are great throughout the year. Finally the Amazon, the weather in this part of Brazil is characterised by rain. The best time to visit the Amazon depends upon what you wish to see. During the rainy season, in November, December, January, February, March, April and May, some of the remote areas become more accessible. In the less rainy season, from June to October, it is easier to walk through parts of the Amazon and experience its beauty on foot.
What to Pack
Packing for Brazil will depend upon your specific Brazilian destination city. A light raincoat that can be carried with you is often one of the best items to pack for a holiday in Brazil. Beach-goers should pack bikinis, swimwear, sunglasses and lots of tanning lotion. Light clothes are important for most of Brazil, particularly as they dry quickly after a short burst of afternoon rain. Visitors to the Amazon will require more specialised clothing that will be cool in humid conditions but also protective from some of the bugs and mosquitoes that one would expect to find in the largest rainforest in the world. Holidaymakers travelling to southern Brazil in winter or to Brasilia or other destinations on the inland plateau should pack warm clothes as the nights get particularly cold.