97% of Portugal in severe drought

97% of Portugal in severe drought

Almost the whole of Portugal was in severe drought at the end of May.

The month of May was the hottest in the southern European country for the last 92 years.

The average temperature of just over 19˚C (66˚F) was more than 3˚C (5.4˚F) higher than usual.

At the same time, average May rainfall of just under 9 millimeters (0.35 inches) was just 13% of what would normally be expected.

That combination left 97% of the country in “severe drought”—one classification lower than the weather service’s worst category of “extreme drought.”

Climate scientists say Portugal can expect higher temperatures and lower rainfall as a consequence of global warming.