For nearly a week now the Iberian Peninsula continues to suffer from the heat wave, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Scorching heat can be felt all across Portugal and Spain and while mitigated by the influence of the ocean and sea along the coastal areas, it is particularly extreme in the interior.
It is the central part of Portugal that has sadly been making the news recently, due to an outbreak of forest fire which has proved to be the deadliest incident of the kind in the country’s history.
The fire broke on the Saturday afternoon, 17 of June in Pedrogão Grande, in the district of Leiria, approximately 190 km northeast of Lisbon and quickly spread to the neighbouring villages of Castanheira de Pêra and Figueiró dos Vinhos. Those are predominantly rural areas, with a high concentration of forests.
Abnormally strong winds and rare phenomenon of the so called dry lightning, allied to the heat wave, contributed to a forest fire the of the ‘apocalyptic proportions’ as described by witnesses. Over 36 hours after the outbreak of the fire, the authorities were still struggling to control the situation, aided by the fire brigades from Spain. The fire killed 62, it is expected though that the number of casualties will rise as the fire brigades are reaching the new sections of the affected area.
The decrease of the temperatures would be vital for the success of the battle against the wildfires.
According to the Portuguese Institute of Meteorology, Lisbon and the central part of Portugal will register a slight drop in the temperatures, which between the 20 and 27th of June to around 29-30 degrees Celsius. The forecast is very similar for the Algarve, with temperatures at the steady 30’s for the upcoming week.
A considerable relief is to be felt in Porto, where as of Wednesday 21 of June the temperatures will drop to mid 20’s, over 10 degrees Celsius less compared to the week before.
See weather for Porto.