The meteorological drought situation worsened in mainland Portugal in May, with the entire mainland in drought, 35% of which in severe and extreme drought, revealed the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA), in its bulletin climatological.
According to the IPMA, last month the entire continental territory became in a situation of meteorological drought.
“At the end of May, 35% of the territory was in severe and extreme drought (26% and 9% respectively) affecting especially the areas of Vale do Tejo, Alentejo and Algarve”, he stresses.
A quarter of the territory (25,3%) is in mild drought, 39,4% in moderate drought, 26,3% in severe drought and 8,9% in extreme drought.
The IPMA bulletin also informs that the past month of May was «the 2nd hottest globally and the 8th hottest since 1931 in mainland Portugal».
Globally, "May was the 2nd hottest ever" (hottest in 2020). The global average temperature in May was 0.40 °C higher than the 1991-2020 average value.
In Europe, the mean value of mean air temperature was very close to the 1991-2020 mean value (-0.01 °C). Slightly warmer than average conditions were experienced in the westernmost parts of the continent and slightly cooler than normal in the central and eastern parts. Values far above normal were only found in the extreme northeast of the continent.
Regarding precipitation in Europe, the IPMA reveals that wetter than average conditions were experienced in most of southern Europe and western Iceland. In addition, heavy rainfall led to flooding in Italy and the Western Balkans.
By contrast, drier than average conditions were experienced across most of the Iberian Peninsula, Denmark, the Baltic countries, southern Scandinavia and much of western Russia.
In mainland Portugal, the month of May was classified as very hot in terms of air temperature and very dry in terms of precipitation.
It was the 8th warmest May since 1931 (highest in 2022, 19.2 °C); average value of mean air temperature, 18.19 °C, +2.47 °C from the 1971-2000 normal value. Of the 10 hottest May months, 7 occurred after 2000, adds the IPMA.
The average maximum temperature value was the 10th highest since 1931, with an average value of 24.55 °C, 3.60 °C above normal, and the average minimum temperature value was the 7th highest since 2000 with an average value of 11.84 °C, 1.34 °C higher than the normal value.
During the month, the daily values of maximum air temperature stand out, almost always above the monthly average value, with emphasis on the first three days of May, with deviations greater than 5 °C.
In the minimum temperature, there were values always higher than the average from the 23rd.
Regarding precipitation, a total of 34.8 mm was recorded, which corresponds to 49% of the normal value. Values lower than this month have occurred in 25% of the years since 1931.
The period from the 26th to the 31st of May stands out with the occurrence of showers, sometimes heavy, hail and accompanied by thunderstorms, especially in the interior North and Center regions.