– Sao Paulo on ice (Al Jazeera, May 20, 2014):
A rare hailstorm blankets parts of Brazil’s largest city.
A storm has brought marble-sized hail to Sao Paulo. The city, which is the largest in Brazil and will host the opening game the football World Cup on 12 June, was coated in a layer of ice up to 20cm in places.
Authorities had to send bulldozers in to help clear the streets of the ice. This part of Brazil is subtropical so the city does not actually have any snow ploughs.
The Centre for Emergency Management said the storm broke a dry spell that caused historically low levels at the main dams that supply water to Sao Paulo. The equivalent of 10mm of rain was recorded,
This amounts to a small if crucial addition to the city’s water supply. Water levels at Sao Paulo’s main reservoir had sunk as low as 10 per cent of its capacity, the lowest level on record. However, the city still faces the possibility of water rationing only weeks ahead of the start of the World Cup.