RAINFALL on Majorca in the early hours of yesterday morning crystallised on Puig Major, the highest point on the island, into a layer of snow some 20 centimetres deep. According to Traffic police reports, however, there was no major traffic disruption and no roads had to be shut off.
The Meteorological Centre director in the Balearics, Agustí Jansá, confirmed that yesterday morning's early rainfall fell as snow on heights above 800 metres, settling as a white blanket measuring between 10 and 20 centrimetres on high ground. Jansá was careful to stress that the Meteorological Centre was still holding warnings of strong gale force winds in the Balearics although the threat of heavy snowfall had now been relegated to the back burner. Rainfall forecast over the next few days which might well fall as snow will be lessening in intensity. He cautioned, however, that this inclement weather will be felt at lower heights above sea level. The Meteorological Centre heightens its warning of strong winds from the north-east which, Jansà indicated, could materialise as squalls of up to 80 kilometres per hour. As of yesterday, snow will be falling at increasingly lower levels, the director reported. He forecast that over the weekend, the height for snowfall will level out at 500 metres but there will only be sporadic showers. He added that Monday will witness snowy weather below 200 metres which could therefore affect three islands of the Balearic archipelago.
Meanwhile, on mainland Spain, 60 villages have been cut off by snowfall in the province of Asturias, thousands of children were unable to go to school, more than 4000 in Catalonia alone, and more than 20 roadways have been closed to traffic. Wintry conditions have meant that 10 regions of the country remain on weather alert. A total of 6'427 schoolchildren in the province of Galicia, the majority (3'296) of them from Lugo have either had their hours of school attendance limited or been prevented from going to classes altogether. Sources of the regional Education ministry confirmed that yesterday's snowfall has had repercussins in 101 school centres. Traffic control authorities on the Peninsula have reported that snow has forced the closure of 22 mountain roads and on another 40, wintry conditions have forced motorists to use chains on their car tyres.