WITH summertime officially starting next Monday, the National Weather Agency (AEMET) said yesterday that the Balearics is in for a hotter, dryer summer than usual.

AEMET spokesperson, Fermin Elizaga forecast that despite having experienced the second coldest spring on record this century, there is a 70 percent probability that temperatures this summer across the country are going to be one or two degrees above averge and rainfall will be “below normal.” AEMET's spokesman in the Balearic Islands, Angel Rivera described the rise in temperature of one or two degrees, as “significant” but he made the comparison with the hot summer of 2003 when average temperatures had risen even further, by two to three degrees. “The medium-term predictions are very much along these lines,” said Rivera “that it's going to be quite a hot summer.” Elizaga confirmed that the forecast is likely to be accurate as probability is so high.

Seasonal predictions are apparently based on medium-term Central European Forecasts which are fine-tuned every month. The system makes an analysis of the state of the seas and oceans and then how the atmosphere is affected by them.

Average temperatures and rainfall levels are based on the evolution of figures registered between 1971 and 2000. However, AEMET said yesterday that such predictions are more reliable in the tropics than they are at the global latitude of Spain.

Meanwhile, AEMET reported that the spring season of March, April and May had been “somewhat warmer than usual” with temperatures 0.6 degrees above average and rainfall “within normal boundaries.” Nevertheless, this spring in Spain has been the second coldest this century, with only by the same season in 2004 being colder.

In the Balearics particularly, he confirmed, there had been areas where spring had been “relatively cold,” particularly in Minorca.
Rivera said that the first fortnight of June had fallen into two very distinct categories. The first week, he said, had been “quite warm” and temperatures in some regions had been in excess of 35 degrees Centigrade. However, from 8th June onwards, “there was a radical change” Rivera explained, with rainfall which was often heavy in some parts of the country but not in the Balearics or the Canary Islands. But temperatures, he said, fell brusquely everywhere, with averages clearly below average for the time of year.

At a global level, however, said Rivera, it has been the hottest spring so far in comparison with figures for the 20th century.