A dust storm hit Ribeirão Preto (313 km from São Paulo) and at least four neighboring cities this Wednesday afternoon (15), amid the heat wave that means more than 116 million people live under alert. maximum in the country this week.
It is not the first time that the phenomenon has hit the city in the interior of São Paulo, but this Wednesday’s records worried residents due to the fact that it occurred at the same time that the city – already known for its hot climate – recorded temperatures close to 40°C.
The storm, with wind, was noticed not only in Ribeirão, but also in municipalities in the metropolitan region, such as Barrinha, Brodowski, Batatais and Jardinópolis.
The traditional blue sky was replaced by earthen clouds after 3pm, which caused businessman Adolfo Bastos, 54, who lives in the city center, to close the windows of his apartment, which were all open, to try to mitigate the impacts. of the heat.
“Everything changed very quickly, the weather closed in and that dust came,” he said.
Dust clouds formed in all regions of the city, such as in the south zone, where businessman Fernando José Peixoto said that the strong winds scared his daughters, aged 6 and 9, who were playing in the backyard.
There are no reports so far, according to the Fire Department, of damage or injured people caused by the dust storm.
When on a large scale, the phenomenon is known by the name haboob, or habub, and is not considered that uncommon.
According to meteorologists, it is usually recorded in dry areas with low humidity.
In 2021, when the phenomenon was recorded in the months of September and October in the interior of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, there were tree falls, wiring breaks and property roofing and at least six people died.
The forecast for the next few days indicates that the strong heat will persist in Ribeirão Preto. According to Climatempo, the maximum this Wednesday is 39°C, with a minimum relative humidity of 12%.
For this Thursday (16), the maximum forecast will be 40°C and, for Friday, 41°C.