Severe storms bring giant hail and intense lightning to Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and Uruguay

Severe storms bring giant hail and intense lightning to Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and Uruguay october 2023

Late Tuesday, October 3, 2023, parts of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and Uruguay were struck by severe weather conditions that included giant hail and intense lightning. The hail ranged from “very large” to “giant”. Damage to homes, buildings, and infrastructure has been reported, although official estimates are not yet available. Further adverse weather conditions are forecasted for Wednesday.

Several municipalities in the Western, Northwestern, Central, and Northern parts of the state of Rio Grande do Sul reported severe storms, heavy rain, and abundant lightning on October 3, 2023. The hailstones that fell in some areas varied in size, with some exceeding 7 cm (2.7 inches) in diameter, placing them in the “giant” category, based on the United States National Weather Service’s classification system. The Uruguayan city of Artigas, bordering the Gaucho town of Quaraí, also reported substantial damage from large ice boulders falling around 20:00 local time.

Barros Cassal, a municipality in the north of Rio Grande do Sul, was particularly hard-hit. More than 200 families are believed to be affected, with numerous buildings damaged, including the municipal administrative building.

According to data from the GLM sensor on the GOES-16 satellite, Rio Grande do Sul recorded an astounding 142 852 lightning strikes on Tuesday, with municipalities like Alegrete, Santiago, and Uruguaiana recording thousands of lightning strikes.

An area of low atmospheric pressure is set to advance from Northeast Argentina, bringing with it the likelihood of more heavy rain and isolated thunderstorms in several cities in Rio Grande do Sul on Wednesday. Particularly, the Western, Center, and Northern parts of the state are expected to experience the most severe weather conditions, with the risk of localized flooding in rural areas.

Similarly, adverse weather conditions are forecasted for the states of Santa Catarina and Paraná, with strong areas of instability moving towards both states.


1 Tempestades severas trazem muitos raios e granizo gigante; veja images – MetSul – October 4, 2023

Featured image credit: MetSul/Fabian Ribeiro Leal


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