Portugal sets July heat record as severe drought continues

Portugal recorded its hottest July on record last month, according to the country’s meteorological service.

Soaring temperatures have worsened Portugal’s drought, with 45% of the continent now classified as being in “extreme drought” – the highest classification level – and the rest of the continent classified as being in “severe” drought, which is the second highest ranking, at the end of July.

Many other parts of Western Europe also experienced scorching conditions in early summer, and scientists say climate change will continue to make weather more extreme.

According to experts, the climate of southern Europe is changing to resemble that of North Africa.

Portugal’s weather service, known by its acronym IPMA, said July was the hottest since national records began in 1931.

The average temperature was 25.14°C, almost three degrees Celsius higher than the July average.

In July, there was just 3mm of rainfall in mainland Portugal, around 22% of normal, according to IMPA.