Weekend weather: Watch out for tonight’s “red moon” before next week’s heat wave

After weeks of unusually mild and sometimes even cold and rainy weather, Portugal is finally expecting summer-like temperatures this weekend ahead of a predicted heatwave.

Maximums will be topping the 30ºC mark in the Algarve, which along with the Alentejo and some inland parts of the north is in for the hottest weather over the next couple of days. But by Monday the whole country will see temperatures soaring. Parts of the Alentejo are expected to see at least 40ºC if not more.

The heat wave results from a mass of “hot and dry air” travelling in from the North of Africa, says IPMA meteorologist Joana Sanches.

Meantime, this century’s longest lunar eclipse predicted to turn the moon a “bright red” will be visible in Portugal starting from 8.40pm this evening.

Said Ricardo Reis of Portugal’s institute of astrophysics and space sciences: “For us in Portugal, we won’t see the phase of the Earth’s shadow covering the moon. It will already be red. For over an hour, we will see it completely full until around 10.15pm.”

Unlike a solar eclipse, all one needs to enjoy a lunar eclipse is a clear view of the night sky. No special filters or protective glasses are required.