cartoon of dry soil and sky with white clouds

The situation of meteorological drought decreased in January in the southern region, although the eastern Algarve remained in the moderate drought class.

On January 31, 20% of the country was in a meteorological drought, while at the end of December this percentage was higher (38%), covering part of central Portugal and the south of mainland Portugal, according to the climatological bulletin from the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).

At the end of last month, the southern part of the Setúbal district and the Beja and Faro districts were still in a meteorological drought, although with less intensity than in December. Only the leeward region remained in the moderate drought class.

According to the IPMA, at the end of January there was a decrease in the area of mainland Portugal in the moderate drought class, from 16.2% in December to 2% in January, and also a drop in the weak drought class from 21.4% to 18.3%, moderate rain from 19.5% to 8.2% and severe rain from 0.5% to 0.3%.

At the end of last month, 36.6% of the territory was in the moderate rainfall class and 34.6% in normal.

The institute classifies the meteorological drought index into nine classes, ranging from “extreme rainfall” to “extreme drought”.

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

According to data from the National Water Resources Information System (SNIRH), as of February 12, 51% of the reservoirs monitored had water available in excess of 80% of their total volume and 15% less than 40%.

On February 12, the Barlavento basin continued to have the least amount of water, just 10.9%, when the average is 75.7%.

However, there was an improvement on January when it was 9.4%.

The data from IPMA’s Climatological Bulletin also indicates that last month was classified as extremely hot in terms of air temperature and rainy in terms of rainfall.

The month of January 2024 in mainland Portugal was the 3rd warmest since 1931 and the warmest in the last 58 years.

Related article: Portugal drought: 320 million € in support for agriculture

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