Portugal is experiencing a heat wave that has lasted for 10 days in some regions

Alentejo was the region where above-average temperatures persisted the most

Mainland Portugal is experiencing a heat wave that only ends today and, in some places, has lasted for 10 days, a source from the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) told Lusa.

A heat wave happens when temperatures are five degrees Celsius (5ºC) above average for at least six consecutive days.

This is what is happening on the continent, meteorologist Jorge Ponte, from IPMA, explained to Lusa.

However, as of Wednesday, the entire continent is no longer in a heat wave, with a generalized drop in temperature and some weak precipitation in the north and centre, with temperatures expected to rise again by the end of the week.

According to the official, temperatures above average for six days were felt throughout the country, but there are regions, especially in Alentejo, which have 10 days of temperatures five degrees above average for the season.

Asked by Lusa about whether this situation is common, the official said that it is undeniable that temperatures are above average, but did not say that this is exceptional.

“It is a situation that is not very common, but it can happen in April. With this durability it won't be so common”, she said.

Jorge Ponte explained that April has been a hot and dry month, despite forecasts of some precipitation in the north and centre. But as the drop in temperature is punctual, over the weekend the forecasts indicate temperature values ​​higher than the current ones.

In the next three days, he explained, temperatures will drop to normal values ​​for the season.

According to the latest IPMA climate bulletin, the meteorological drought situation increased in mainland Portugal during the month of March, worsening in the southern region.

On March 31, 48% of the territory was in meteorological drought, while on the last day of February the percentage was 28%.

According to the IPMA, there was an increase in the intensity of the meteorological drought in the southern region, with emphasis on the districts of Setúbal and Beja and some places in the Sotavento Algarvio, that are in the severe drought class.