“Very high wildfire risk” in much of country for next few days

The risk of fire will remain high in some regions of the mainland at least until Monday.

Thirty municipalities in the districts of Bragança, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Portalegre and Faro have a “very high risk” of fire on Thursday, with a worsening forecast for the coming days, according to the national meteorological institute, IPMA.

The IPMA also placed more than 50 municipalities of Faro, Beja, Lisbon, Santarém, Leiria, Portalegre, Castelo Branco, Guarda, Vila Real, Viseu and Bragança at “high risk”.

The risk of fire will remain high in some regions of the mainland at least until Monday due to the forecast of hot weather.

This risk, determined by IPMA, has five levels, ranging from low to maximum.

The calculations are obtained from the air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and amount of precipitation in the last 24 hours.

The IPMA forecasts hot weather from today (Thursday) until Sunday in mainland Portugal, increasing the danger of fire, with higher temperatures in the north and central interior and in the Algarve.

In a statement, the Institute said the weather over the next few days will be conditioned by a mass of warm air associated with a southerly flow, resulting in a gradual increase in temperature between today and Saturday.

“Within this flow, there will also be the transport of dust from North Africa, in medium and high levels of the troposphere, which should affect the country on 20 and 21 [Friday and Saturday], with the possibility of reduced visibility,” warns IPMA.

Saturday will be, according to IPMA, the hottest day with temperatures varying between 25 and 35ºC in most of the country and occasionally 35 to 38ºC may be reached in the regions of the Guadiana, Tejo and Douro valleys.

According to IPMA, these temperatures are above normal for this time of the year in the order of 3 to 10 degrees.

As for the minimum temperatures, they will remain high in the South and in the North and Centre interior regions, between 18 and 21ºC.

IPMA also says that due to the approach of a depression to the Iberian Peninsula from Saturday, there are conditions for instability, especially in northern and central regions, with the possibility of showers, sometimes accompanied by thunderstorms, and that in some places may be dry thunderstorms.

For Sunday, the forecast points to a significant decrease in maximum temperature.

Source: Lusa