Moderate drought on the mainland in August, occasionally severe in Baixo Alentejo and Algarve

in News · 06-09-2020 20:00:00 · 5 Comments

Mainland Portugal remained at the end of August in a situation of moderate drought, being occasionally severe in the Baixo Alentejo and Algarve, in relation to the month of July, according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA).

According to the meteorological drought index (PDSI) available on IPMA's website, at the end of August, 58.9 percent of mainland Portugal was in a weak drought (a decrease from July (71.4 percent)), 22.6 percent in normal drought, 18 percent in moderate drought and 0.5 percent in severe drought (0.3 percent in July).

According to the index, at the end of August there was still a decrease of the area in weak drought in the North and Centre regions.

In July there had been an increase in the area in meteorological drought in the territory of the continent and, in the regions of Baixo Alentejo and Algarve, an increase in the class of moderate drought, occasionally severe.

At the end of July, 71.4 percent of mainland Portugal was in a weak drought, 19.9 percent in moderate drought, 8.4 percent normal and 0.3 percent in severe drought.

IPMA also advances that the period from January to August 2020 was the hottest of the last 90 years (since 1931).

The institute classifies in nine classes the meteorological index of drought, which varies between "extreme rain" and "extreme drought".

According to IPMA, there are four types of drought: meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socio-economic.

The meteorological drought is directly linked to the rainfall deficit, when rainfall occurs below what is normal.

Then, as the deficit increases over two, three months, it shifts to an agricultural drought, because there are starting to be water deficiencies in the soil.

If the situation continues, it evolves into a hydrological drought, when there are water shortages in the dams. There is also the socio-economic drought, thus assumed when it already has an impact on the population.

In addition to the drought index, the IPMA Climate Bulletin indicates that the month of August was hot in relation to air temperature and normal in relation to precipitation.

According to the institute, during the month there was a great variability in the values of the air temperature (minimum, average and maximum).

IPMA indicates that in the period from 4 to 10 August there was a heat wave in some places in the North and Centre countryside (Montalegre, Vila Real, Guarda, Penhas Douradas) and temperatures below normal in two periods (12 to 17 and 28 to 31 August).

In these periods the lowest values of the minimum air temperature for the month of August were exceeded in about 10 percent of the meteorological stations on the continent.

With regard to rainfall in August, a value very close to normal (13.9 millimetres) was recorded.

During the month of August, rainfall occurred essentially between 17 and 20 August in the regions north of the Tagus, with very high daily precipitation values for the time, having exceeded the highest values of daily precipitation in some places in the northeast region of the territory.

IPMA also highlights that at the end of August, compared to the previous month, there was a decrease in the percentage of water in the soil throughout the territory, with emphasis on the regions of the Northern Interior, Tagus Valley, Baixo Alentejo and Algarve.


Are the tourists in the hotels, holiday homes and resorts being told to shower once a day instead of 3 times?

By No water - no life from Other on 07-09-2020 07:45

Besides the enormous amount of water used by golf courses, eucalyptus trees and avocado plantations the never ending cleaning of agricultural land and property boundaries by disc harrows ,allowing the evaporation of ground water, is turning Portugal into a desert. It's time that short term gain should be weighed against long term disaster.
So wake up, all of those in a position of power, and start thinking outside the box for some positive actions. It's not rocket science.
If you don't have any ideas of your own, contact me, maybe I can help.

By Dave Lamb from Alentejo on 07-09-2020 02:04

Reservoirs often reach worryingly low levels in the autumn and, if we are lucky, the rains during winter and spring come to our rescue. We should all learn to be prudent with our use of water and not take this precious resource for granted.
I wonder how much water is used every year to keep the numerous golf courses green and immaculate? I hope they have the wits to collect rainwater for that purpose.

By Annie from Algarve on 07-09-2020 12:44

Rethink golfcourses and waterparks, easy enough

By Billy nick from Algarve on 07-09-2020 11:06

Passed by the reservoir at Odeleite yesterday and it was scarily low. Meantime, lots of land has been taken over by avocado plantations. I'd really love to know what is being done to protect our water, if anything.

By Concerned Resident from Algarve on 07-09-2020 09:29
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