Drought situation worsened in April and now reaches 89% of the territory

Vast areas of the districts of Setúbal, Évora, Beja and Faro are in the severe to extreme drought classes


The situation of meteorological drought worsened in mainland Portugal in April, with 89% of the mainland in drought, 34% of which in severe and extreme drought, according to the IPMA.

In one month, the dry area in mainland Portugal almost doubled compared to March, when it was 48%.

According to the latest climatological bulletin from the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), there was a significant increase in the area and intensity of meteorological drought at the end of April, with the Northeast region standing out in the drought class. moderate and in the south the districts of Setúbal, Évora, Beja and Faro in the severe to extreme drought classes.

At the end of last month, 33,2% of the territory was in moderate drought, 22% in mild drought, 19,9% ​​in severe drought, 14,1% in extreme drought and 10,8% normal.

In April last year, the entire territory of mainland Portugal was already in a situation of drought, most of it in moderate drought (87,2%).

The institute classifies the drought meteorological index into nine classes, which vary between “extreme rain” and “extreme drought”.

According to the IPMA, there are four types of drought: meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socioeconomic.

The data from the bulletin indicate that in April the total precipitation (18,2 millimeters) was much lower than the average value (23%), being the 3rd driest April since 1931.

With regard to the percentage of water in the soil, the institute refers that there was a very significant decrease in the percentage throughout the territory.

The regions of Nordeste Transmontano, Tagus Valley, Baixo Alentejo and Algarve registered values ​​of percentage of water in the soil below 10%.

The IPMA also adds in the bulletin that the month of April was classified as very hot in terms of air temperature and extremely dry in terms of precipitation.

Last month was the 4th hottest April since 1931 (the hottest was in 1945), with three heat waves recorded in the mainland, which affected the interior North and Center regions, Tagus valley, Alentejo and Sotavento Algarve.