Portugal's hot and dry August worsens drought, makes it 2nd worst on record

Portugal's weather service says the country is enduring its second-worst drought since comprehensive records began 70 years ago.

The Portuguese Weather and Sea Institute said in a monthly report published Thursday that at the end of August, 74 percent of Portugal was in the grip of severe or extreme drought conditions.

It said rainfall has been below the average for the past nine months. Precipitation in August was 6.8 millimeters (0.27 inches), compared with the August average of 13.7 millimeters (0.54 inches).

The month's average temperature of 29.27 degrees Celsius (84.69 Fahrenheit) was almost half a degree higher than normal.

In August 2005, the entire Portuguese territory was in severe or extreme drought.