With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, plans in Portugal needn’t be as weatherproof as in many other countries – at least during the summer months. But during the off-season, between October and May, the weather isn’t always as reliable.
Not only is it not as reliable, but usually neither are the weather forecasts, with different weather apps and sites forecasting very different conditions for the Algarve.
But now, the region is “entering the Premier League of atmospheric monitoring in Europe”, says Telmo Carvalho, member of the board of directors of IPMA – Portugal’s Sea and Atmosphere Institute, thanks to the inauguration of a new state-of-the-art weather radar.
Officially unveiled last week on the Algarve/Alentejo border in the Serra do Caldeirão hills – more specifically in the town of Ameixial, Loulé –, it promises to provide “much more reliable weather forecasts” for the region.
The radar will be managed by IPMA to provide “much more reliable data, with more than double the quality, resolution and speed of information than the institute could provide until now”, said Loulé Municipal Council in a statement.
This will allow the institute to monitor heavy rains, predict coastal floods, detect changes in atmospheric pressure, assess the probability of snow and hail, and even predict the likelihood of wildfires more accurately.
A second radar was inaugurated on the same day in the Alentejo, representing a €2.8 million investment through Portugal’s Recovery and Resilience Plan and providing a joint range of 300km. They join other new meteorological stations across the country.
Whatever the weather, the winter months are still ideal for spending time in the Algarve. Not only is there plenty to do, but international flights also tend to be much more reasonable outside peak season.