Barragem de Odeleite. Inset: AMAL boss António Pina. Photo: BRUNO FILIPE PIRES/OPEN MEDIA GROUP

April rain improves drought situation in Algarve and Lower Alentejo

The expression “April showers bring May flowers” rang true for the Algarve and Lower Alentejo, which are no longer in a severe state of drought thanks to “above-average” rainfall last month. However, both are still facing moderate drought.

The announcement was made by the Portuguese Sea and Atmosphere Institute (IPMA) this week in its monthly bulletin.

To put matters into perspective, around 16% of Portugal’s territory was hit by severe drought at the end of March. By the end of April, however, there wasn’t a single region facing a severe drought in the whole country.

It was also warmer than usual in April. Says IPMA, the average maximum (18.56ºC) and minimum (9.26ºC) temperatures were higher than usual. In fact, the average minimum temperature was the fifth highest since 2000, the institute points out.

There was also an increase in groundwater levels throughout the country, although in some areas in the Algarve and Lower Alentejo they remain below 40% – the minimum capable of meeting the needs of dryland farmers and fruit growers.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com