The situation of meteorological drought worsened in continental Portugal in the month of May, with the entire continental territory in drought, 35% of which in severe and extreme drought, revealed the IPMA on Wednesday.
The climate bulletin of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) for the month of May states that there has been an increase in the area in drought, with the entire territory in a situation of meteorological drought.
The IPMA highlights the increase in the moderate drought class in the North and Central regions, in the South region and some places in the Tagus Valley in the severe and extreme drought classes and the decrease in the extreme drought class and increase in the severe drought class. “At the end of May, 35% of the territory was in severe and extreme drought (26% and 9% respectively) especially affecting the areas of Vale do Tejo, Alentejo and Algarve,” explains that institute.
According to the IPMA, 25.3% of the territory is in mild drought, 39.4% in moderate drought, 26.3% in severe drought and 8.9% in extreme drought.
The document also reports that, compared to the end of April, there was an increase in the percentage of water in the soil in the North region and part of the Center, particularly in the districts of Bragança, Vila Real, Viseu, Coimbra, Guarda and Castelo Branco due “essentially to the situation of instability that occurred between May 26 and 31, with the occurrence of showers, sometimes strong and hail.
On the other hand, the bulletin specifies, “the regions of Vale do Tejo, Baixo Alentejo and Algarve stand out with percentage values of water in the soil below 10%, which in some places already equal the point of permanent wilting. “.
The IPMA also indicates that the month of May in mainland Portugal was classified as very hot in terms of air temperature and very dry in terms of rainfall, being the eighth warmest May since 1931.
The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere highlights that, Of the 10 hottest May months, seven occurred after 2000.
The maximum air temperature in May was the tenth highest since 1931 with an average value of 24.55 degrees Celsius, almost four degrees above the normal value, while the minimum temperature was the seventh highest since 2000 with an average value of 11.84 degrees, 1.34 degrees higher. than the normal value.
According to the IPMA, the total precipitation in May corresponded to 49% of the normal value, values lower than those of this month occurred in 25% of the years since 1931.
The bulletin also mentions that, during the month of May, the period from May 26 to 31 stands out with the occurrence of showers, sometimes intense, hail and accompanied by electrical storms, especially in the North and Central interior region.