ALTHOUGH it is not as hot as it was last year, the high temperatures coupled with humidity over the past few days have set a new record in electricity consumption in the Majorca-Minorcan grid.
The new record of 924 megawatts was recorded at 9.16pm on Wednesday. The previous record was set just one year ago, on August 19, 2003, at 914 megawatts.
The power company Gesa-Endesa is forecasting a record consumption of 955 megawatts for the Majorca-Minorca grid this summer.
Last year, ten new records for consumption were set in the summer and two more in the winter. The expected maximum consumption last year had been 849 megawatts, but this figure was passed time and time again until the new record was set at 914 megawatts.
Consumption on the Ibiza-Formentera grid was 175 megawatts at 9.28pm yesterday, just one megawatt below the record for the islands, which was reached August 10. This summer, Gesa is predicting a record consumption of 178 megawatts.
The peaks in demand are attributed to the combination of high temperatures and high humidity, which make people rush to turn on their air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
The early hours of yesterday morning were among the hottest this summer.
The minimum temperatures were exceptionally high, particularly in Ibiza (26ºC), Capdepera (24.8ºC), Porto Pi and Porto Colom (24.6ºC), Minorca (24ºC) and Porreres (23.3ºC).
A minimum temperature of more than 22ºC is considered tropical as it makes it difficult to sleep.
The maximum daytime temperatures were high in some areas and normal in others.
They included 35.8ºC in Port of Pollensa, 33.7ºC in Porreres, 33.1ºC in Lluc, 33ºC in Porto Colom, 32.4ºC at Ibiza airport, 31.4ºC at Minorca airport, 30ºC in Capdepera and 28.6ºC in Alfabia.
The temperatures, however, did not beat this year's records. The maximum temperature in the Balearics so far has been 36.6ºC recorded at Palma's Son Sant Joan airport on July 5.
And the highest minimum in Palma this summer was 25.4ºC (August 9-10), nearly one degree more than yesterday's minimum.
According to the weather man, the maximum temperatures in Palma over the past few days have been one degree below the average for this time of year, while the minimum temperatures have been three degrees higher than the average.
However, the sensation of heat is aggravated by the high degree of humidity brought by the winds from the south and south west. Yesterday's humidity was 95-96 percent in Porto Colom, Minorca and Palma, and between 80 and 95 percent in the rest of the Balearics.
The humidity is expected to drop today and tomorrow with winds from the north, although the southerly winds - and the humidity - are set to return on Sunday.
So far there have been no major blackouts, once the bane of the summer, and Gesa has claimed that these incidents are now a thing of the past, and it is capable of meeting demand.