The twelve soccer stadiums in Brazil where World Cup matches are happening this month are in many different climates. Some are hot and humid. Some are hot and dry. Others are cooler than others.
For example, the stadium in Manaus, Brazil is at the heart of the Amazon rainforest and has a tropical, humid climate. During Saturday’s match, it was a sweltering 90°F (32°C) and the humidity was over 80 percent. This weather is typical in the tropical climate of Manaus.
But during Sunday’s match, 2000 miles away in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the temperature only reached 73°F (22°C). Humidity was much lower than in Manaus. In the evening it was cool enough for a sweater. This weather is typical of the temperate climate of Porto Alegre.
A map of regional climates like the one below can provide a good first guess at what types of weather soccer players will encounter around the country during the World Cup matches this month. The colors on the map indicate different climate types based on average temperature and precipitation.
The climate varies depending on factors such as distance from the equator, the height of the land above sea level, and how close the land is to a coast.
The weather and climate will be an exciting twist to the World Cup. A team that’s winning in temperate climates might have a hard time at a match in extreme heat. Dehydration and heat exhaustion may be more common in matches in the blue areas on the map, which are hottest and most humid, and the orange areas, which are hot and dry. Players at stadiums in green areas in the south will probably have less heat-related ailments.
There will be an extra opponent on the field throughout the World Cup – climate. If you watch the matches, also watch for climate's impact. It’s invisible, but will affect players in every match.
- Want to learn more? Check out The World Cup's Climate Wild Card at Scientific American.