Staff Reporter

PALMA
AS Majorcan residents shivered in the sudden drop in temperatures, the people of Formentera were hoping that their food would last out.
The small island relies heavily on sea transport there is no airport and seriously ill people have to be airlifted by helicopter to Ibiza or Majorca. The storms which have hit the island have forced the port to close.

This means no food has been brought in and supplies in markets, supermarkets and the wholesale businesses are running dangerously low. The storm shows no signs of abating until Sunday.

Temperatures in the Balearics have plummeted as much as 18º Celsius in some areas in the past four days according to Agustí Jansá, head of the Balearic Meteorology Office. He added that yesterday was probably the coldest day so far this winter. Polar air from the north of Europe caused temperatures to drop from 18º C on Saturday to 0.1 and even -2.5º C in some parts of the Sierra de Alfabia.

Things were also significantly colder in Pollensa, where Saturday's maximum temperature of 24º C dropped to 13º on Tuesday and 10ºC yesterday.
In Palma, where hail fell yesterday, the temperature was 12ºC, 2.5º less than Tuesday and 5º lower than four days ago.
Both Sa Pobla and Porreras recorded temperatures of 22ºC on Saturday, but yesterday, they had dropped to 15 and 14º C respectively. The maximum temperatures in Minorca and Ibiza yesterday were 11 and 12º C respectively. Jansá said that there was no evidence that it had snowed, although snow had been predicted between 600 and 800 metres, and this prediction stands for today.

The temperatures are expected to drop by a further 1 or 2º C today, but it is believed the the cold air front “has touched rock bottom.” Jansá said that he thought the polar air would let up on Sunday, when temperatures would start to rise again. Jansá pointed out that this situation was normal in winter and could not be considered exceptional. The Civil Protection Board has maintained its weather alert in the Balearics and eight other regions because of snow. Here in the Islands, the danger of high winds of up to 90kph still prevails.

The port of Ciutadela in Minorca remained closed yesterday because of the high winds, and the Balearia ferry from Alcudia to Ciutadela, due to leave at 8am, had to be cancelled.

The weather centre has established an orange alert, the second in a scale of three levels of risk, because of the high winds.

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