Dry thunderstorms explode over Lisbon and inland central regions

Incredible dry thunderstorms exploded last night over Lisbon and inland central regions, sparking fires in some areas and keeping thousands awake.

The images being shared over social media are staggering.

Meteorologists say the phenomena which is associated with rain may well continue into a second night tonight.

The reason for the rain not actually falling is that it evaporates, due to the exceptionally hot dry weather, before it hits the ground, explained Paula Leitão for IPMA, the institute of sea and atmosphere.

For now 12 districts are under orange alert due to the high temperatures, with Castelo Branco having registered 16 fires yesterday in the space of a few hours.

Photo credit: By bbarataphotography, diografic, afonso_beiraobelo, girorodrigues.s on instagram