Rain that fell during December led to a further easing of the drought, but 37.3% of mainland Portugal remains in this situation, according to data from IMPA

According to the drought weather index (PDSI) available today on IPMA website, of these 37.3%, only 3.5% is related to severe drought (eastern Algarve).

Data indicate that in December there was a worsening of the drought situation in mainland Portugal compared to November.

By the end of December however, the northern and central regions were no longer in a drought situation, due to severe and moderate rainfall in much of the north of Cape Mondego.

In the southern region, according to the IPMA, there was a significant easing of the weather drought situation, however, severe drought persisted in the eastern Algarve.

The institute classifies into nine classes the drought weather index, which ranges from “extreme rain” to “extreme drought”.

The report indicates that as of December 31, 2.7% of mainland Portugal was in severe rain, 31.8% in moderate rain, 18.7% in light rain;  24.8% in light drought, , 9.5% normal, 9% moderate drought, 3.5% in severe drought.

The institute classifies into nine classes the drought weather index, which ranges from “extreme rain” to “extreme drought”.

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

Meteorological drought is directly linked to the rainfall deficit when rainfall is below normal.

Then, as the deficit widens over two, three months, it shifts to an agricultural drought because water deficiencies in the soil are beginning to develop.

If the situation persists, it will develop into hydrological drought, when there is a lack of water in the dams. There is also socioeconomic drought, which is considered when it already has an impact on the population.

In addition to the drought index, the IPMA Climate Bulletin also indicates that December was warm in relation to air temperature and rainy in precipitation.

According to the IPMA, the average value of average air temperature in mainland Portugal (10.99 degrees Celsius) was higher than the normal value by 1.02 degrees, being the third highest since 2000 (highest in 2015 and 2000).

Regarding rainfall, the IPMA indicates that the average amount of precipitation in December was higher than normal, corresponding to about 127% of the monthly normal value.

The IPMA points out that since 2010 there was no precipitation above normal in December.

Precipitation values ​​in the northern and central regions were much higher than the average value, with the highest values ​​recorded in Cabril, Bragança district, (528 mm), Penhas Douradas, Serra da Estrela, (473 mm), Guarda (466 mm) and Covilhã, district of Castelo Branco, (433 mm).

In the southern regions, rainfall was lower than normal, for example, the 47.9 mm of rainfall in Faro corresponds to about 40% of normal (115.6 mm).