Portugal sets July heat record as severe drought continues

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Portugal recorded its hottest July on record last month, according to the country’s weather service.

The soaring temperatures worsened Portugal’s drought, with 45% of the mainland now classed as being in “extreme drought” – the highest level of classification – and the rest of the mainland classed as being in “severe” drought, which is the second-highest classification, by the end of July.

Many other parts of western Europe also witnessed torrid conditions in the early summer, and scientists say climate change will continue to make weather more extreme.

Southern Europe’s climate is changing to resemble that of North Africa, according to experts.

The Portuguese weather service, known by its acronym IPMA, said July was the hottest since national records began in 1931.

The average temperature was 25.14°C which is almost three degrees Celsius higher than the expected July average.

In July there was only 3mm of rainfall in mainland Portugal, around 22% of normal, according to IMPA.