Ice cold winter

TEMPERATURES ACROSS the country continued to drop last week.

Serra da Estrela, the main ski area in the country in central Portugal, experienced very low temperatures, but to the despair of tour operators and business owners in the area, there was no snow.

The lack of snowfall meant that many families were forced to cancel their Christmas ski breaks and business owners are worried that this climatic trend will continue over the rest of the winter.

The Institute of Meteorology (IM) placed Beja, Braga, Castelo Branco, Évora, Guarda, Portalegre, Vila Real and Viseu under yellow alert as the weather turned colder.

The Algarve was also placed under yellow alert, as temperatures dipped to three degrees, which is regarded as the average minimum temperature for this time of year. However, in many cases, the temperature was expected to drop even more.

The IM predicted that the coldest city would be Bragança, located in the far north east of the country, where the temperature is due to drop to minus six degrees.

Clear skies

Despite the Algarve’s temperature dropping substantially, Faro was expected to remain the warmest city in the country, with a low of five degrees and a high of 14. Porto and Lisbon were the only other districts in Portugal that were predicted to remain above freezing with clear skies.

Throughout the past two weeks, emergency services were also on high alert. They posted useful information about how to tackle the cold weather on their respective websites including wearing layers of clothes rather than one big jumper when leaving the house.

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