By Humphrey Carter PALMA

NO one needs telling that it was cold on Tuesday night but in fact, it was so cold, it was the fourth coldest night for the past 40 years in Majorca.
The coldest night of the winter, so far, saw temperatures drop to -.3ºC in Lluc up in the Tramuntana mountains forcing the Director of the Balearic Meteorological Centre, Agusti Jansa, to admit yesterday that the current over night temperatures are “unusual.” But it was not only in Lluc and the mountains where the island shivered through the night.

In Binissalem, the temperature plummeted to a near record -4.1ºC and in Campos the mercury dropped to -3.9ºC.
Even in the centre of Palma, temperatures as low as -3.5ºC were registered and -3.2ºC at the airport.
On Ibiza, which normally escapes the worst of the Balearic weather, temperatures fell to below freezing.
According to Jansa, average temperatures this month have been half a degree below average in areas such as Palma and Ibiza while in Minorca, temperatures have been pretty much as usual.

Despite the first two weeks of the year being milder than normal, the freezing conditions of the past week have dragged the average temperature down and, according to Jansa, this winter was forecast to be slightly colder than usual and these past few days have proved that.

However, Jansa said that this winter is expected to be drier than usual and again, it has been a relatively dry start to the year although some showers are forecast over the next few days.
Jansa explained yesterday that the rains, which moved in to the south of the region during last night and will spread across the rest of the Balearics today, will push temperatures up by as much as 10ºC in some places before clear skies return on Sunday.

Jansa added that the cloud cover over the next few days will trap the warmth over night and this will defrost the ice that has been forming over night and causing problems for drivers first thing in the morning.

The polar front has now been gripping the country for the past six days and most of the country remains on cold weather alert today with temperatures forecast to drop well below -10ºC in some central and northern parts of the mainland.

But the good news is that here in the Balearics, we are due to a brief respite in the cold snap.