The Balearics fortunately escaped the worst of the polar weather which has gripped Spain for the past four days and temperatures will start to rise today. The heavy snow falls forecast for the Balearics failed to materialise, but temperatures did fall sharply. For example, last Wednesday the maximum temperature in Lluc was 7ºC and the minimum 6ºC, but on Sunday, the maximum temperature in Lluc failed to struggle past 5ºC with a minimum of 1.7ºC. Palma also felt the cold where the temperature on Sunday dropped by as much as 8ºC, the maximum temperature in Palma was 4ºC. Minorca and Ibiza also shivered all weekend - in Minorca it was a cold as 3.8ºC on Sunday, 7ºC lower than Wednesday, while in Ibiza it was slightly warmer, 5ºC. Despite the forecast last week which predicted widespread torrential rain across the Balearics, the heavy rain was isolated and the snow remained up high on Majorca's mountains. But while it will take a few days for temperatures to return to normal, black ice can be expected inland so drivers are urged to proceed with caution while the moderate to strong north easterly winds will make conditions feel slightly colder. National Meteorological Institute boss Antonio Mestre said yesterday that while the present cold snap has been very intense, it has not been unusual for this time of year. He pointed out that last January, temperatures in Teruel on the mainland fell to -20ºC, during this cold snap, temperatures have fallen to -12ºC in the coldest parts of the country, although everywhere, apart from coastal regions, has had to endure freezing temperatures for the past four days and while day time temperatures started to rise yesterday, temperatures will drop to near freezing overnight for the next couple of days. All the emergency services have been stood down from their weather alert footings and the power companies have reported that demand for electricity and gas has returned to normal for this time of year in the past 24 hours after having reached an all-time record high on Sunday evening. Sales of butane gas bottles shot up by 20 per cent over the past four days, in comparison to the first week of January last year, as did demand for main gas.
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