Expatica news

More than 90% of the country is experiencing severe drought

MORE THAN 90% OF THE COUNTRY IS EXPERIENCING SEVERE DROUGHTAccording to the most recent bulletin by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), more than 90% of Portugal is in severe or extreme drought, which indicates a new worsening of the meteorological drought situation in the country.

The drought bulletin, released today and reporting on February 15th, indicates lower than normal percentage values ??of water in the soil throughout the country, with the Northeast and South regions reaching values ??below 20%, with “many places reaching the point of permanent wilting”.

The document, which highlights the South region and some places in the districts of Bragança and Castelo Branco, points to 38.6% of the territory in extreme drought (11.5% at the end of January), 52.2% in severe drought (34 .2% at the end of January) and 9.2% in moderate drought.

“The degree of severity of the meteorological drought on February 15, 2022 is higher than in 2018 and 2005, with a higher percentage in the severe and extreme drought classes, which corresponds to about 91% of the territory”, say the IPMA.

The institute also says that significant precipitation is not expected until the end of February, and that, in relation to air temperature, the trend will be “towards higher than normal values ??for the entire territory, especially for the interior Center region and South”.

Predicting how the meteorological situation will pan out, the IPMA say that “it is very likely that the meteorological drought situation will continue at the end of February, with almost the entire country in the most serious classes of the PDSI index”.

According to the IPMA, the average value of the amount of precipitation in the current hydrological year 2021/2022, from October 1, 2021 to February 15, 2022, corresponds to 39% of the normal value.

“To date, 2021/22 is also the driest hydrological year when compared to other meteorological drought years”.

Air temperatures during February ??so far have been “almost always higher than the normal monthly value”, the period from 07th to 11th February had average values ??on the mainland close to 20°C. This, of course, just worsens the issue.