As May drew to a close, Spain and Portugal were entering the summer dry season already parched from a record-dry winter. Between November 2004 and March 2005, Spain experienced its driest winter since records began in 1943, reported the Spanish Meteorological Institute. Portugal was experiencing its worst drought in 25 years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service estimated rainfall totals for both Spain and Portugal to be as much as 75 percent below average between September and February.
The impact of the dry weather on vegetation is shown in this vegetation anomaly image, created using data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) between April 7 and April 22, 2005. Compared to the average vegetation density (a good indication of plant health) in the latter half of April from 2000-2004, vegetation across the entire Iberian Peninsula was clearly stressed because of drought in 2005. Brown represents those regions where vegetation was thin and less dense than average, while tiny flecks of green show where vegetation is healthier than average. The dark reddish-brown streak across Southern Portugal and Spain shows that those regions seem to be the most severely affected.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided by Inbal Reshef as part of the Global Agricultural Monitoring Project between NASA, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), and the University of Maryland. More data and information about this joint project is available at Satellite Information for Agricultural Monitoring.
As May drew to a close, Spain and Portugal were entering the summer dry season already parched from a record-dry winter. Between November 2004 and March 2005, Spain experienced its driest winter since records began in 1943, reported the Spanish Meteorological Institute.
As of early August 2008, the Oklahoma panhandle was experiencing its driest year (previous 365 days) since 1921, according to records kept by the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Through July, year-to-date precipitation in Boise City, in the heart of Cimarron County, was only about 4.8 inches, barely half of average and drier than some years in the 1930s, the height of the Dust Bowl.