Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 176, Issue 11, pp 5079–5106 | Cite as

Evidence of Tornadoes and Microbursts in São Paulo State, Brazil: A Synoptic and Mesoscale Analysis

  • Augusto José Pereira FilhoEmail author
  • Felipe Vemado
  • Hugo Abi Karam


Synoptic and mesoscale analyses indicate environmental conditions favorable to the development of tornados and downbursts in Eastern São Paulo State, Brazil, between 16 May and 06 June 2016 under El Niño Sothern Oscillation (ENSO) condition. A subtropical jet stream strengthened by the 2015/2016 El Niño event over southeast Brazil and low-level moisture advection from the Amazon induced mid-level mesoscale vorticity and strong updrafts, respectively. These synoptic summer-like conditions yielded high dynamic and thermodynamic instability, producing deep convection and supercells with high lightning and precipitation rates with golf ball-sized hail stones and high winds at the surface, causing damages to trees, houses, towers and other structures with debris features associated with tornadoes and microbursts. Cellular phone photos and movies of severe weather events in Campinas and Janiru cities on 05 and 06 June 2016 suggest wind damage features caused by tornadoes ranked in the enhanced Fujita (EF) wind scale as EF1 (38–49 m s−1) and EF2 (49–60 m s−1), respectively. Similarly, cellular phone movies of Embu-Guaçu City severe weather event on 16 May 2016 suggest a microburst case. The present study is based on quantitative and qualitative records of three high-impact rainfall, hail, lightning and wind gust episodes in the extra tropics during late fall 2016.


Tornado downburst weather radar deep convection 



The authors are grateful to Departamento de Águas e Energia Elétrica (DAEE) for providing SPWR datasets. The first author is partially supported by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) under grant 301149/2017-8.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ciências Atmosféricas, Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas-IAGUniversidade de São Paulo-USPSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Meteorologia, Instituto de GeociênciasUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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