By Humphrey Carter
PALMA

THE Balearics is on severe weather alert today for gale force winds which, in the north of Majorca and Minorca, are going to reach gale force seven with snow forecast as low as 300 metres.

Yesterday afternoon, the Emergency Centre issued a level two alert for the north of Majorca and Minorca while the rest of the islands will be on level one, yellow warning for strong winds and low temperatures.

The Director of the Balearic Met. Office, Agustin Jansa, said that isolated showers are forecast for today but the main concern is the snow and falling temperatures.

However, according to Jansa, the cold front will begin to move west, away from the Balearics, over the next few days.

But, in the meantime, it is going to be extremely cold with temperatures expected to plummet to well below freezing in the centre of Majorca on Saturday.

Yesterday morning, maximum temperatures in Palma fluctuated between 8ºC and 12ºC but a gradual drop will be felt today while on Saturday, temperatures will struggle to rise above 7ºC in the capital.

According to the Emergency Centre, it is coastal areas which are going to be worst hit by the gale force winds and heavy seas over the weekend and yesterday issued a warning to people living in low lying coastal areas to be prepared for flooding with four metre waves being blown ashore.

60 litres per square metre also fell in the Sierra de la Tramuntana mountains yesterday but the emergency service reported no major incidents.
Drivers have been advised to stay away from coastal and mountain roads while pedestrians are urged to avoid promenades or beaches.
Water sports are prohibited. Home owners should make sure balconies and terraces are clear of any potentially dangerous objects which could be blown away and ensure all windows and shutters are firmly closed.

In the areas on level two alert, the public is being asked to avoid going out and drivers, if they absolutely have to take to the roads, to proceed with due care and attention and keep their eyes open for falling trees and walls and high-sided vehicles.

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