Heatburst in Beja: temperatures increased by 10ºC in five minutes

Saturday May 21 saw temperatures in Beja increase by 10ºC in just five minutes. It is a rare phenomenon, which in this case was accompanied by humidity levels falling 74% and wind gusts travelling at 53 km/hour. As IPMA is explaining, the phenomenon is known as ‘heatburst’ – very similar to ‘downburst’ the factor responsible for the surreal death toll on the EN 237 following the fire that broke out in 2017 at Pedrógão Grande. In this latest incident, however, there was fortunately no fire – possibly because the heatburst came between 5.45 and 5.50 in the morning – although people in the area woke up to find a number of large trees had fallen during those few very strange minutes: the description given at the time being that there had been a tornado.