Every area in the country saw significant increases in drought at the end of May, with 97.1% of the country experiencing “severe drought” during that period, the Portuguese Maritime and Atmospheric Institute (IPMA) has announced.
The figure represents a sharp increase from the end of the previous month, where the drought affected just 4.3% of the country. according to the meteorological drought index (PDSI). Also in April, nowhere in Portugal was classified under the “extreme drought” category.
The remainder of the country’s territory was classified as “moderate drought” at 1.5%, and “extreme drought” at 1.4%.
The institutes, which divides the index into nine categories ranging from “extreme rainfall” to “extreme drought”, said that the month of May was the hottest in 92 years.
The institute also stated that in 20% of all weather stations, the highest air temperature recorded in May occurred between the hours of 00:00 and 08:00.
Additionally, there was a significant drop in the water content of soils across the country, with the regions of Alentejo, Algarve, Central, Tagus Valley, and North Portugal all recording a 20% drop in soil water content.