By Humphrey Carter

SUMMER only officially started a few days ago but it hit the Balearics with a bang over the weekend with temperatures soaring up to near 40ºC on Sunday and the region being placed on weather alert for the heat wave yesterday.

The head of the Balearic Met. Office, Agusti Jansa, warned last week that this summer is going to be slightly hotter than normal and he is not wrong.
The normal average temperatures for this time of year is 25ºC, but this summer the average highs are expected to be one degree higher.
Jansa said yesterday that long term predictions can sometimes be proved wrong, but he is confident that what is left of June, July and August will be hotter than usual.

Yesterday, maximum temperatures were expected to peak at or surpass 35ºC at Palma airport and the Balearic government's emergency department issued a heat wave alert which may remain active for the next couple of days although a slight fall in temperatures is expected for today.

After months of complaining about the rain, people are already whingeing about the heat.
The yellow weather alert puts all of the emergency services on a special footing and the police, medical services and fire brigades are monitoring the situation closely in order to be able to respond to any incident rapidly.

The forest fire prevention teams are also on full alert. Helicopters had to fight a fire at the Son Reus rubbish dump on Sunday and all of the region's special spotter towers are being manned by forestry commissioners throughout the day.

In accordance with the Yellow Alert, Civil protection yesterday released a number of recommendations for the general public to follow.
Wear light clothing, limit our exposure to the sun, eat light and regular meals.
Drink plenty of liquid but not alcoholic or coffee, and also consume plenty of fruit and vegetables which help to replenish body salt lost by sweating.

Those having to work in the sun are also advised to take regular breaks in the shade
The Civil Protection warning also draws people's attention to make sure the young, elderly and animals are not left in vehicles with the windows closed.

Wear a hat and try to avoid any prolonged physical activity during the hottest period of the day.
Jansa explained yesterday that there is no correlation between the variable and unusual weather pattern this Spring in the Balearics and the hot summer.

Jansa said that April was slightly drier and temperatures an average of one degree higher than the April norm.
However, May was wetter, although temperatures were normal “despite many people claiming that it felt much colder,” he said. Although the first two weeks of June were “wetter and cooler” than usual he added.

All the advice released by the Civil protection department is a useful guide to enjoying a comfortable summer and is best to be adhered to at all times until the temperatures start cooling down in the Autumn.