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STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
JUST after 1.30pm yesterday, summer officially began and it is forecast to be hotter and drier than usual.
After Sunday's mini cold snap with temperatures in Palma dropping by as much as 6ºC and one of the wettest and coldest springs for the past 30 years, the arrival of summer and its excellent forecast from the met. office has been welcomed by everyone, in particular the tourist industry.

The head of the Balearic met. office, Agustin Jansa, said average temperatures in the region this Spring were slightly lower than normal.
For example, in Lluc the average was 11ºC, when the normal average is nearly 12ºC.
And looking ahead to the summer, Jansa said that average temperatures in the Balearics are going to be 1ºC above the average over the past three decades.

WETTEST
But, Jansa also pointed out that apart from being one of the coldest Springs of this century, it was also the wettest with the wettest day since 1934 being recorded on May 30 when 113 litres per square metre fell on the region.

EXTREMELY HEAVY
Jansa said that water levels in the Balearics are nearly 50 percent above average and described the rain patterns of the Spring as “irregular”. “Not only was it very wet, when it did rain, it rained extremely heavily on many occasions,” he explained.
The changeable and unpredictable weather caused a great deal of damage to the region's agricultural sector with the Sa Pobla potato harvest delayed, for example, and key markets lost as a result.

The heavy rains also caused severe damage to roads in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains with the intense rain sparking landslides and, in the more extreme cases, washing parts of mountain roads away.

Some of them are still undergoing repairs.
Scores of businesses and private properties also suffered severe flooding.
However, now it appears we can put our umbrellas away for another summer and make the most of what is promising to be a long hot summer.