Staff reporter

WE are in the grip of another heat wave and Friday night was the hottest night of the year with minimum temperatures in some parts falling to just 25ºC. Yesterday, temperatures reached record levels across the country with power companies reporting yet another surge in demand with consumers turning up their air conditioning systems and leaving their fans on night and day. The heat wave is gripping Europe, when Britons should be spending the weekend flicking through holiday brochures planning their sunshine holiday, thousands were yesterday sunning themselves on beaches and in parks with the Mediterranean far from their thoughts. Here in the Balearics, we are in for an uncomfortable few nights with humidity forecast to rise along with the temperatures.
No let up in the heat can be expected until Thursday, temperatures should remain steady until Wednesday when a slight rise is forecast.
However, we are not going to have clear blue skies for the next few days, the north of the island in particular can expect some rain during the first half of next week and in some parts, the rain will be torrential summer showers. Power company GESA/ENDESA is prepared for four days of huge demand but is confident that the Balearic grid can easily handle a sudden surge.
Demand for power will not reach its annual peak until mid-August when, traditionally, the region is catering for tens of thousands of extra consumers with hotels running their air conditioning systems at maximum levels. In a number of places across the country, temperatures soared higher than 40ºC, Madrid yesterday was the hottest capital city in Europe, as hot as Pretoria in South Africa and hotter than Cairo, and in the Balearics, the maximum temperatures were not far off the 40ºC mark. The only concern for the police and the emergency services is that a sprinkling of rain will make the roads very dangerous next week after this latest hot and dry spell and drivers are being urged to be very careful next week when out on the wet roads. The forest fire teams are also on full alert this weekend, especially today.
People heading to the countryside or up into the hills are asked to be responsible and to also report any one behaving suspiciously to the police.