Isolated frosts seen in Brazil farming regions, risk remains for Saturday

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SAO PAULO, May 20 (Reuters) - Some areas of Brazil's Parana, Sao Paulo and southern highland parts of Minas Gerais regions saw frost due to sub-zero temperatures on Friday, and more could be coming over weekend, according to meteorologists.

Lower temperatures were registered in several regions of Parana and Santa Catarina, which saw intense cold spells, said Carine Gama of weather forecaster Climatempo.

"Before it was cloudy in areas of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, so the temperature didn't drop as much. Now that the dry air mass has cleared, the weather is more likely to drop in temperature and cause frost," said Carine.

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She said that until early Friday morning Climatempo had not received photos of crops affected by frost, but that there were conditions for frost formation in the southern states of Santa Catarina, Parana and Rio Grande do Sul.

Climatempo recorded negative temperatures in Caldas, in the south of Minas Gerais (-0.9 degree Celsius), and in the Parana cities of General Carneiro (-0.4) and Ponta Grossa (-0.3).

There are corn areas in southeastern Parana, while southern Minas Gerais is an important coffee producer, and there were early indications of isolated frosts.

"(We had) occasional frosts in lowland regions ... It will probably not result in significant impacts on agriculture in general," said Edmar Gervasio, from Parana's agriculture department.

Even the Limeira region of Sao Paulo, a historic orange producing area, had temperatures near zero, at 0.7 degrees Celsius, Climatempo said.

Temperatures between three and four degrees already create conditions for light frosts, Gama said.

"We will probably see many reports of frost on corn in the southern region of Parana," added Marco Antonio dos Santos, a forecaster at weather consultancy Rural Clima.

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Reporting by Roberto Samora; Writing by Steven Grattan Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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