Protection against cold weather and snow
It can get cold in Portugal especially in the northern areas of the country with temperatures below zero centigrade in the south as well, in areas such as Monchique in the winter.
Exposure to intense cold, especially for several consecutive days, can have negative health effects. Extreme cold situations can result in changes in the body that facilitate the emergence of diseases such as influenza and other respiratory infections, and worsening of chronic diseases, including cardiac and respiratory.
During the winter, their is a greater tendency for people to gather together indoors, which may contribute to the spread of some infectious diseases. Indirectly, the cold can also cause road accidents, falls due to ice, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper use or malfunction of fireplaces or other heating systems.
Please call or visit vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated seniors to make sure they are alright. Other groups at risk include people with pre-existing heart conditions or chronic respiratory illness, infants and young children, people on certain medications, people who work or do physical activities outside for extended periods, and those who are marginally housed or homeless;
The Serra da Estrela is the main snow resort in Portugal. If you are visiting, please check for snow alerts and weather so that you can prepare accordingly. A number of people encounter difficulties in the area each year, many of which can be avoided through more thorough preparation.
The last two years have seen higher than usual temperatures across the country and in many areas records have been broken with temperatures in excess of 40C. Care has to be taken in such heat to avoid dehydration or even worse. The Director General of Health has issued the following guidelines to help avoid health issues during high temperatures and heatwaves as follows:
To protect yourself from the harmful effects that intense heat may have on your health, you should stay abreast of the news and keep yourself hydrated and cool. The DGS recommends:
More information can be found on the DGS website here:
Solar radiation is an important natural factor of the Earth’s climate significantly influencing the environment. The ultraviolet part of the solar spectrum (UV) plays a decisive role in many processes in the biosphere, having many beneficial effects, however can cause serious damage to health if the UV level exceeds the limits of “security.” UV levels in Portugal are measured from 1 – 11+, the latter being the highest. It is important to regularly check UV levels in your area if you are planning outdoor activities. The levels are monitored by the IPMA and can be checked by referring to the tab on the right of this page, together with the level of protection recommended.
The UV average for portugal between the months of October and April range from levels 3 and 6, i.e. Moderate with the possibility of High at times, increasing from 9 to 10 between May and September, which corresponds to Very High.
Go to the beach only in the early morning hours (until 11 o’clock) or in the late afternoon (after 5 o’clock). Stay in the shade, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Prolonged sun exposure leads to skin burns that alone increase fluid loss.