“In 14 of the last 20 years we have registered a rainfall deficit compared to the 1970/2000 period, a situation that favours the occurrence of periods in which the mainland will be in the highest classes of meteorological drought and consequently agricultural and water drought”.
Regarding the drought that the country is going through, with 55% of the mainland in a severe drought class and 45% in extreme drought, the IPMA warns that in some of the more recent meteorological droughts, the dry periods last longer.
If the hydrological year is considered, which runs from October 1st to September 30th of the following year, the current year, to date, is the second driest ever (since 1931, when data began to be compiled), only exceeded by the hydrological year 2004/2005.
If the numbers between January and July (calendar year) are considered, the IPMA notes that the driest year was 2005, followed by 2012, so this is the third driest year since 1931.
In July of last year, almost 40% of the mainland was normal and the rest in mild, moderate or severe drought. The situation worsened in August (22% of the territory) but improved in the following two months. But from November onwards it got significantly worse, only 8.1% of the territory was then in a condition considered normal, going to 6.3% in December, that is, getting even worse.
From January of this year, the entire continent entered a drought regime, until today. Since then, extreme drought and severe drought have predominated, except for March and April when the drought was predominantly moderate.
According to the IPMA source, having areas of the continent in drought since the beginning of the hydrological year is a “recurring situation”, especially in the southern region.
This year the month of March had above normal rainfall, both in the northern region (approximately 130%) and in the southern region, with approximately 200%.
According to the IPMA, rainfall has even been recorded monthly throughout the territory during the current hydrological year.
“What happens is that the values are very low compared to what we consider normal, that is, an insignificant amount of precipitation when we are in a situation of persistent precipitation deficit”.