Max temperatures ever recorded in Portugal

With all the discussions around an extreme heat across Iberian peninsula this week, we take a look at the records of the highest temperatures in Europe.

Reaching such high temperatures is a very fine balancing act between numerous factors and there is only a very small window for error if record values are to be reached or not. Max afternoon temperature usually depends on a number factors. They must perfectly align together: apparent temperature in the lowest levels (boundary layer), its relative humidity which is often related to soil moisture and vegetation (evapotranspiration during the day) and winds. Light winds, which can produce Foehn effect can locally enhance temperatures significantly (for example, remember the hot weather in the Norwegian fjords at 70°N or warm Alpine valleys in very specific winter setups with Foehn winds). And indeed cloud cover. Even particles in the sky (e.g. a lot of Saharan dust or smoke) can act as limiting factors for intense airmass heating.






Here are the known records of the highest ever recorded temperatures across Europe – the record holder are Athens, Greece while Spain and Portugal have their records just a touch lower.

Europe: +48.0 °C in Athens, Greece on 10th of July, 1977 (official record of WMO)

Portugal: +47.4 °C in Amareleja, Portugal on 8th of August, 2003

Spain: +47.3 °C in Montoro, Spain on 13th of July, 2017

There is an unofficial observation of +48.5 °C in Catenanuova, Italy on 10th of August, 1999. But this recording is not confirmed, so we are just putting it besides the official observation.

Here are the highest ever recorded temperatures in various stations across Portugal:

+47.4 °C – Amareleja (1.8.2003)
+45.4 °C – Beja (1.8.2003)
+45.3 °C – Santarém Esc. Ag. (31.7.1944)
+45.2 °C – Santarém/F.B (1.8.2003)
+44.5 °C – Évora C.C. (1.8.2003)
+44.3 °C – Faro (25.7.2004)
+44.0 °C – Viseu (6.8.1932)
+43.5 °C – Setúbal (23.7.1995)
+43.3 °C – Portalegre (24.8.1941)
+43.0 °C – Évora Cid. (1.8.2003)
+42.5 °C – Coimbra B. (16.8.1943)
+42.0 °C – Lisboa/Gago Coutinho (1.8.2003)
+41.8 °C – Lisboa/I.G. (1.8.2003)
+41.6 °C – C.Branco (1.8.2003)
+41.6 °C – C.Branco E.A. (23.7.1945)
+41.4 °C – Leiria Bar. (1.8.2003)
+41.4 °C – V. Real* (23.7.1945)
+41.3 °C – Braga/ P.A. (14.8.1943)
+40.9 °C – Coimbra C. (1.8.2003)
+39.9 °C – Porto/S.Pilar (30.7.1944)
+39.5 °C – Bragança (12.8.2003)
+39.5 °C – V. Castelo Meadela (7.8.2003)
+39.4 °C – Braga/ M. (27.7.2010)
+39.4 °C – Viseu/CC (24.7.1995)
+39.3 °C – Aveiro (27.7.2010)
+38.9 °C – Leiria (27.7.2010)
+38.6 °C – V.Real/CC (7.8.2005)
+38.5 °C – Funchal (10.8.1976)
+38.3 °C – Guarda / EMA (30.7.1998)
+38.3 °C – Porto/P.R (14.6.1981)
+37.5 °C – V. Castelo Chafé (31.8.2010)
+36.1 °C – Guarda (1.8.2003)

Data source: http://www.ipma.pt/en/oclima/extremos.clima/

With the expected peak of the current heat wave across SW Europe this weekend, some of these record values could be surpassed. Various models are consistent with peak afternoon temperatures into 44-47 °C range until Sunday. Refer to article below for some more details on the ongoing extreme heat wave:

Stay tuned for daily updates on the heat wave evolution.