THE storm conditions which plunged the Balearics into winter on the first day of spring are easing up, although winds of up to 80kph can still be expected in the north east of Majorca and Minorca, and snow can be expected above 800 metres.

According to Met Office spokeswoman Maria José Guerrero, the temperatures will continue to be low, but will start to rise gradually from today.
However, the weekend will see unsettled weather, with the risk of scattered showers. Temperatures will go up slightly, but will not reach the 21.4º Celsius recorded in Pollensa last Sunday.

The most significant feature of the storm was the “unexpected” appearance of sleet and snow which affected Majorca and Minorca.
Guerrero also commented on the marked drop in temperatures, from 21.4º C in Pollensa to 12.8ªC.
The lowest temperature was recorded in Alfabia, at -3.6ª below zero, 5º lower than normal for this time of year.
Local farmers are worried about the effect of the cold snap on their crops but Balearic minister for agriculture and fisheries, Margalida Moner, yesterday confirmed that Government experts are already evaluating the damage to crops. However, she warned that it is too early to speculate about the extent of the damage.

During a press conference, Moner said that the hail and frost recorded in some places on Majorca could have damaged the potato and almond crops, and also some of the crops which are being grown under plastic.

According to the Minister, specialists in this field are visiting the farms on the islands to determine the extent of the damage. “However, we don't yet know how bad it is”, she repeated.

The general bad weather in Spain has affected the islands badly during the last few days, especially on Tuesday, with winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour, and snow.

The ports of Palma, Alcudia, Ibiza and La Savina (Formentera) had many of their sailings cancelled due to the state of the sea caused by the strong winds which have lashed the islands over the past few days.

According to sources from the Port Authority, speaking yesterday, all the ports under their jurisdiction remained open, in spite of the fact that many sailings were cancelled.

There were also many delays in regular sailings due to the shipping companies trying to reorganise their schedules, which had been badly affected by the storm a few days ago.

In fact, said the sources, in the port of Palma the ship Millenium II, owned by Acciona-Trasmediterranea had to cancel its 10am sailing to Barcelona and was forced to remain in port due to the bad state of the sea.

In Alcudia, the ship Nura Nova, owned by Iscomar, cancelled all its sailings scheduled for yesterday between the ports of Alcudia and Ciudadela, as it was trapped in the port of Mahon, to where it had to divert because of the state of the sea.

The Ramon Llull, owned by Balearia, which covers the route from Denia to Ibiza to Palma, remained in the port of Ibiza after cancelling its sailing to Palma.

At the same time, in the port of La Savina on Formentera, the ships Arlequin Rojo, and Nixe II, also owned by Balearia, had cancelled their morning sailings. However, passengers did get from Ibiza to La Savina because the Nixe II ferry was replaced by the Rapido de Formentera.