FOR the first time since the hurricane-force storms of November 2001, Majorca is faced with low yearly rainfall figures.
According to Augsti Jansa, director at the Balearic meteorological centre, the lack of rainfall on the Island between February 2003 and this year, is 15 percent down on average levels recorded for the same period over the last 30 years.
From November 2001 up until last January, Majorca hadn't registered year-on-year rainfall deficit. Measurements run in 12-month sequences, for example from 15 November 2001 to 15 November 2002, 1 December 2002 to 1 December 2003, and so forth.
Specifically, the storms of November 2001, remembered for the significant damage they left in their wake, marked the end of a long and intense drought that had plagued earlier years. Since then, on balance, there has been a 60 percent surplus of yearly rainfall, running continually until 31 January, last.
At that point, a five percent deficiit was detected in year-on-year measurements which in a short space of time has become 15 percent. Even with the extreme heat of last summer, the average rainfall figures had remained steady until last month.
In fact, said Jansa, there wasn't much rainfall last January, a level considerably lower than normal. In Palma, only 17 litres were recorded when the average for the month is 36. This means that in January it rained only half as much as usual for the time of year.
In Lluc, the situation is much worse. Last month, 23 liters were recorded as having fallen when the average for the month should be 135. The story is the same for the rest of the Island.
Rainfall behaviour for this February is easy to sum up: there hasn't been a drop of rain. Since 28 January this year, no rain has fallen on Majorca.
The meteorological situation facing the Islands at present is clearly anticyclonic and no major changes are forecast over the immediate future.
Minorca maintains an 11 percent surplus and Ibiza, 2 percent.
If the lack of rainfall continues, any positive surplus will rapidly be wiped away.
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