By Humphrey Carter

WALKING to work yesterday, I came across a group of British holidaymakers fresh off the bus from Palma Nova, clad in summer clothing in the pouring rain, they were in heated discussion about where to buy some umbrellas, I pointed them in the right direction. Their new umbrellas are certainly going to come in handy over the next few days, while London basks in glorious sunshine. The rest of this week in the Balearics is going to be unsettled with the worst of the storms and gale force winds sweeping across the islands today. Yesterday the Port Authority in Minorca decided to suspend all shipping out of Mahon until the weather improved but ferry services out of Ciutadella managed to continue operating. Passenger services to Barcelona and Ibiza were suspended and the Denia-Ibiza-Palma fast ferry was also halted because of the strong winds and heavy seas. Flights however were not affected yesterday although there were some delays at airports along the mainland east coast because of the wind which tourism authorities in parts of Cataluña claimed last night have forced a number of people to cancel their Easter holiday bookings The torrential rain which nudged into some parts of the island yesterday evening should have cleared by this morning, but the region's emergency authorities may well find themselves mopping up today after 60 litres per square metre of rain was forecast to have fallen over night. Worse still, the rain will be accompanied by sand from North Africa, leaving a film of mud across the region.
Similar downpours can be expected throughout today, accompanied by moderate to strong north easterly winds and temperatures will be lower, making conditions feel quite cool in the wind. Tomorrow however, let-up in the weather is forecast but it is not expected to last.
At least on Friday, temperatures will start to climb although the odd spot of rain will linger over the weekend with temperatures dropping slightly on Saturday and Sunday. The storm alert for the Balearics is expected to be lifted later today as conditions will improve, although for many holidaymakers, the weather will not be quite what they bargained for and the fact that most parts of England will be enjoying a sunny Easter with average temperatures of around 20ºC will not make calling home much fun. Regular visitors to Majorca during these dates last year will remember sunning themselves on the beach.
Yesterday while winds reached 77 kilometres per hour in some parts of Majorca, maximum temperatures failed to reach 15ºC.

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