Even without the effects of the heat wave experienced over the past few days, the new report by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) reveals that 80.2 percent of mainland Portugal was in severe drought on May 15.

The figures from mid-May contrast with the improvements of the last two months: April had ended with almost all of the territory still in a situation of drought, but for 87.2 percent of the country this drought was only moderate.

In just 15 days the scenario has been drastically reversed and all of mainland Portugal is experiencing drought: 19.8 percent being moderate drought and 80.2 percent in severe drought, the second most severe degree of drought in the IPMA classification.

Contributing to the worsening of the drought, in the first half of May the IPMA recorded an average air temperature 2.80 degrees above normal for the time compared to the historical period and the rain was only 8 percent of what was usual between the years of 1971 and 2000, something classified as "much lower" than expected.