This summer is expected to be “much hotter than normal” with specialists predicting various moments when temperatures exceed 40ºC through June, July and August.
Talking to TSF radio, climate specialist Carlos Pires attached to the Sciences Faculty of the University of Lisbon has explained it’s not possible to predict the exact moments, but “there is going to be an anomaly of the quarterly (temperature) average, of about a degree and a half”.
The phenomenon is “a consequence of global warming”.
Unusually hot, dry weather will affect the whole of Southern Europe – particularly Spain and Italy.
“Portugal is a bit on the edge (geographically), and so won’t suffer the worst. The worst will be in the Spanish and Italian interiors and in the South of France”, said Mr Pires.
The ‘good news’ is that although temperatures will be higher than normal, the risk of wildfires should not increase.
“There is a lot of water in the soil and aquifers”, said the climate specialist. “The soil isn’t too dry, it’s fairly humid still. So even if there are very dry conditions and a lack of rain through June and July, because reservoirs have a lot of accumulated water, it won’t be so serious for the water balance and for wildfires”.
Heatwaves are becoming “more and more normal”, Mr Pires added – stressing the “invasion of hot, dry air contributing towards the desertification of southern Europe” will simply worsen as global warming advances.
TSF concluded its text saying we should expect temperatures to increase by as much as 2ºC this summer “but in coming decades, until 2050, the intensity should accentuate a great deal”.
Curiously 2050 is also the year by which large tracts of the Portuguese coast are expected to be underwater “irrespective of any action on climate change” (click here).