Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 131, Issue 3, pp 389–412 | Cite as

Some mean atmospheric characteristics for snowfall occurrences in southern Brazil

  • Jéssica Melo Mintegui
  • Franciano Scremin PuhalesEmail author
  • Nathalie Tissot Boiaski
  • Ernani de Lima Nascimento
  • Vagner Anabor
Original Paper


Snowfall is considered a natural disaster in southern Brazil, where a little infrastructure exists up to prevent against the damage it induces, making snowfall forecast a matter of great interest in this region. The present article aims to describe the mean behavior of low, mid, and high atmospheric levels during snowfall occurrences in southern Brazil. Sea-level pressure (SLP), 1000–500 hPa atmospheric thickness, geopotential height at 500 hPa, and wind speed at 200 hPa have been analyzed. One hundred and ninety-six snowfall records from the conventional surface meteorological stations have been selected for the period from 1979 to 2015. The surface synoptic pattern associated with snowfall occurrences has been obtained from ERA-Interim reanalysis data with horizontal spatial resolution of \(0.75^\circ \times 0.75^\circ\) and temporal resolution of 12 h. SLP fields show a high-pressure transient system displacement from the Pacific Ocean to northeastern Argentina. In addition, it is possible to relate snowfall with displacement of a low-pressure system on the coast of southern Brazil. Thickness fields indicate shallow cold air mass intrusions one day before snowfall. Such a cold air continues moving towards low latitudes during consecutive snowfall days and it may be responsible for frost events in climatologically warm regions. Finally, mid and high atmospheric levels show an eastward propagating wave amplified by the Andes.


Snowfall Southern Brazil snowfall occurrence Synoptic pattern southern Brazil 



The authors would like to thank Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq - Universal 422161/2016-0) for financial assistance, \(8^\circ\) Distrito do Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia and Centro de Informações de Recursos Ambientais e Hidrológicos de Santa Catarina (Ciram) for the data provided, the contributions of anonymous reviewers, Michel Kaplan (editor), and Otávio Costa Acevedo for important contributions in this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jéssica Melo Mintegui
    • 1
  • Franciano Scremin Puhales
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nathalie Tissot Boiaski
    • 2
  • Ernani de Lima Nascimento
    • 1
  • Vagner Anabor
    • 1
  1. 1.Grupo de Modelagem AtmosféricaUniversidade Federal de Santa Maria (GruMA-UFSM)Santa MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Grupo de Pesquisa ClimáticaUniversidade Federal de Santa Maria (GPC-UFSM)Santa MariaBrazil

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