Snow is very rare in Uruguay, but it fell during the first-ever FIFA World Cup

Randi MannDigital Reporter

On this day in weather history, it snowed during the 1930 FIFA World Cup.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Sunday, July 13, 1930, the first-ever FIFA World Cup soccer game kicked off. The tournament took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, at the Estadio Centenario, Estadio Pocitos and Estadio Gran Parque Central stadiums. Uruguay won the Cup, Argentina was the runner-up, and the United States came in third.

Estadio Centenario 1930

"Estadio Centenario, 1930." Courtesy of Wikipedia

Uruguay won the right to host the competition because the country was celebrating the centenary of its first constitution and had won the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics.

Several European countries, including Germany and Italy, decided not to travel the multi-week boat trip to the first cup. A total of 13 teams made it to the Cup; four European, seven South American, and two North American.

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Lucien Laurent, France's forward, scored the first ever goal in World Cup history. It was in the team's first game against Mexico. Laurent scored 19 minutes into the game, around 5,000 spectators witnessed the historic moment.

"We were playing Mexico and it was snowing, since it was winter in the southern hemisphere. One of my teammates centred the ball and I followed its path carefully, taking it on the volley with my right foot," said Laurent.

"Everyone was pleased but we didn't all roll around on the ground – nobody realized that history was being made. A quick handshake and we got on with the game. And no bonus either; we were all amateurs in those days, right to the end."

In Uruguay, July and August are the winter months. They get cool, but usually not cold enough for snow. Snowfall is extremely rare in the country. So rare that Uruguan meteorologist José Serra wrote an article that "reviews three cases of this phenomenon."

Nevertheless, snow appeared during the first-ever FIFA World Cup, and the host country took home first place.

To learn more about snow at First Ever World Cup Soccer Game, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: "Foto del estadio Centenario en 1930." Courtesy of Wikipedia