In the last few days, a month’s worth of rain has deluged Brazil’s coastal city of Natal, hosting tonight’s World Cup showdown between the U.S. and Ghana. More downpours are likely today, including at the game which starts at 6 p.m. EDT.
Since Friday, more than 13 inches of rain have fallen in the city of close to a million people. About 9 inches fell between Saturday and Sunday morning, according to Weather.com. Natal’s average rain for the entire month of June is 13.8 inches.
The rain has caused extensive flooding, prompting the city to issue a state of emergency. This video from the Associated Press shows some of the scenes:
Weather.com adds the flooding triggered “landslides that destroyed or damaged 20 to 40 homes and forced the evacuations of at least 50 people.”
Low pressure over northern Brazil (coupled with high pressure in southern Brazil) has steered tropical moisture off the Atlantic towards the northeast Brazil coastline with repeated episodes of heavy rain.
Along with the rain, the humidity has reached suffocating levels. Dew points for tonight’s match are forecast to be in the mid-70s (anything over 70 is oppressive), with an air temperature right around 80.
Tropical showers are likely today, mixed in with intervals of dry weather and some sun. By evening, the chance of rain increases some, which could well make for soggy soccer.
The sopping wet weather hasn’t impacted the playing field says U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Despite all the rain, the field is in great condition. Huge compliment to the grounds crew in Natal. The stadium looks awesome !! #1N1T— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) June 15, 2014
And whatever the weather brings, Klinsmann says the U.S. team is ready. “If it’s raining, if it’s snowing, if it’s thunder and lightning, whatever, this is about football,” he told reporters. “We’re not worried about that stuff at all. No matter what the circumstances are, we are going to embrace them and make them work.”