Total precipitation in February “was well below average.”
The month of February was “extremely dry” and recorded a “significant decrease” in the percentage of water on the ground, especially in the Central and Baixo Alentejo coastline, the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) said this Wednesday. ).
“The month of February 2023 in mainland Portugal was characterized as normal in terms of air temperature and extremely dry in terms of precipitation,” says the IPMA climate bulletin.
The bulletin referring to February highlights that last month’s total monthly rainfall of 10.7 liters per square meter “was well below average”, representing only 11% of the normal value recorded between 1971 and 2000.
IPMA reports that, considering the past 35 years, only in nine years have monthly rainfall values in February been higher than the average value.
The same document also adds that there was a significant decrease in the percentage of water in the soil in February, with almost the entire territory having values below 60%, and some places on the central coast and Baixo Alentejo having percentage values. of water.in the soil less than 20%.
At the end of February, IPMA also reveals, there was an increase in areas with mild and moderate drought in the Southern region, with an emphasis on Setubal and Beja regions, with many areas in moderate drought, while in the North and Center there was a decrease in areas in the rainfall classes.
“As of February 28, 15% of the territory was in mild drought and 13% in moderate drought,” said the bulletin, which gave an account of the average air temperature, which was 9.94 degrees Celsius and very close to normal. value recorded. between 1971 and 2000.
According to IPMA, the maximum air temperature was above normal, being the twelfth warmest since 1931, and the minimum air temperature was below normal, recording the sixth lowest since 2000.
“During the month of February, the maximum air temperature values were almost always above the monthly average, and the minimum air temperature values were almost always below normal, with emphasis on the periods from 2 to 7 and from 23 to 28 with prices well below the monthly average,” the same document says.
Although February was described as normal in terms of temperature, IPMA points out that mainland Portugal was, last month, “often under the influence of a polar air mass”, in addition to being also affected by depressions and cold fronts, which came from precipitation, with local hail and, episodically, in the form of snow at altitudes greater than 400 meters in the Northern region and 600 meters in the Center region.