NATAL, Brazil -- Like most tropical places, Brazil sees its fair share of rain. In Natal, it can rain for an hour a day in the summer and in the winter, a day or two of rain every couple weeks is the norm. But days and days of rain is unheard of, and the city can't handle it.
Natal got hammered by rain at the start of the World Cup, getting a month's worth of rain in three days. Homes were destroyed, a highway was washed away and significant parts of the city were hit by flooding.
The rain hasn't gone away either. After a couple days with just a short sprinkling, the rain returned in full force on Wednesday night. It looked like a monsoon and, at times, was deafening. It came down in sheets and the only time it didn't was when the wind blew it sideways. Palm trees bent and pools overflowed.
Come Thursday morning, the rain was still coming down hard. Nothing had changed, except the Atlantic was now at high tide. Whereas everyone along Ponta Negra beach spent Thursday afternoon on the beach or walking around the city in the sun, nobody was out anymore.
Japan and Greece are set to square off at Arena das Dunas on Thursday night and when they do, the pitch is going to be a wreck. The forecast calls for rain all day, which may or may not (ok, probably not) cut down on the pre-game festivities outside the bar. The locals said the Mexico and Cameroon fans partied in the streets despite the rain last week so maybe the Japanese and Greeks can match it.
If they try, the beer will runneth over ... with rain.