The southern region of mainland Portugal registered an increase in the area of meteorological drought at the end of May, with Baixo Alentejo and Algarve experiencing moderate drought and some places with severe drought, according to IPMA.
According to the meteorological drought index (PDSI) available on the website of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA), at the end of May there was an increase in the meteorological drought area as well as in the intensity in the southern region, when compared to the previous month.
The northeast region of the mainland was also classed as being in the mild drought class.
At the end of the month, 55.4 percent of mainland Portugal was in normal drought, 26.4 percent in mild drought, 14.6 percent in moderate drought, 2.1 percent in light rain and 1.5 percent in severe drought.
The institute classifies the meteorological drought index into nine classes, which varies between “extreme rain” and “extreme drought”.
According to IPMA, there are four types of drought: meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socioeconomic.
Meteorological drought is directly linked to rainfall deficit, when below normal rainfall occurs.
In addition to the drought index, the Climatological Bulletin indicates that the month of May, in mainland Portugal, was classified as hot and very dry.
According to the data in the report, the mean value of the average air temperature, 16.20 degrees Celsius, was higher than the normal value.
The average minimum air temperature value, 9.75 degrees, was the 3rd lowest since 1931 (lowest in 2013: 8.84 degrees).
As for the average value of the maximum air temperature (22.64 degrees) it was higher than the normal value (+1.68 degrees).
The IPMA indicates that during the month there was some variability in the average daily air temperature values, particularly the average and maximum, highlighting the period from 25 to 31 May with average values on the mainland ≥ 25 degrees.
According to the bulletin, the average amount of rainfall in May, 32.8 millimetres, was lower than the 1971-2000 normal value.
Drought concerns in southern Portugal
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