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STAFF REPORTER

MADRID
ALTHOUGH the weather for the first week of spring in the Balearics has been encouragingly mild, the National Weather Agency (AEMET) forecast yesterday that Easter week may well get off to a rainy start.

AEMET'S regional representative Angel Rivera said that lighter than usual winds blowing from west to east are likely to be insufficient to stave off rainfall tomorrow as well as on Friday or Saturday, albeit to a lesser extent as the week moves on.

Rivera explained that although today's showers are expected to be highly localised right across the country and often consisting of no more than a spattering of rain, tomorrow is likely to be considerably more “unstable,” particularly in mountainous areas.

Some good news for the Balearics though is that whilst the western part of Spain is forecast to fall prey to a cold squall sweeping in from the Atlantic tomorrow night through into Thursday morning, temperatures in the Islands are expected to rise.

Light showers may, however, return this Friday to the Balearics, on what will be the first day of Easter week. Saturday too will be subject to isolated showers although they will apparently be at their heaviest in northern areas of the mainland.

Rivera predicted that Sunday will be quite fine with comfortable temperatures despite the fact that there are unconfirmed reports of further Atlantic squalls threatening to prolong the chill on Monday. In the meantime, however, temperatures are expected to remain “spring like” in the Balearics, even defying the effects of tomorrow's “return to winter” in the rest of the country.

Temperatures in the Balearics will rise today and remain at a maximum of between 14 and 15 degrees Centigrade and tomorrow between 16 and 17 degrees until the weekend. Temperatures elsewhere in Mediterranean are forecast to be even higher and to remain at a maximum of between 17 and 18 degrees Centigrade today and tomorrow between 20 and 21 degrees, conditions which will last until the end of Sunday.

Rivera gave assurances that as of this Thursday, AEMET will be offering detailed weather information with a view to Easter week. The Balearics is no exception to tradition in Spain which sees open air processions from the evening prior to Good Friday right over the Easter weekend. The guilds of religious statue carriers have been rehearsing for weeks to make sure they are “in step” when the venerated figures are brought shoulder-high out of the churches into the streets lined with applauding onlookers. So important is the weather to these occasions that the guilds in some regions of the country have even made an arrangement with AEMET to send them SMS texts regarding the latest weather updates. People from the mainland of Spain also wait right up until the last moment to see what the weather is going to be like in the Balearics prior to booking an Easter holiday there.