THE Balearic Minster for Health, Aina Castillo, said yesterday that temperatures in the Balearics have so far not exceeded “level 0”.
This is a level which was established to detect excessive heat and at which level residents will be alerted to take the necessary precautions. On May 30 the Ministry started a campaign to prevent the effects of hot weather. Amongst other things in this campaign, one of the plans was that every day a committee of experts would be given the minimum and maximum temperatures for the day before. Along with these, they would receive the forecasts for the following five days. The aim of this is to prevent extreme situations.
In the Balearics, the temperatures considered to be “level 0” are 22 degrees minimum and 35 maximum. If it is forecast that these temperatures will be exceeded on two days out of the following five, the alert level will be “level 1”; if they will be exceeded on three or four days out of the five, the level will be “level 2”; and in the forecast is that the temperatures will be exceeded on all five days, then the maximum level, “level 3”, will be declared. At the moment, “level 0” has not been exceeded, explained Castello, although she insisted that residents should take precautions, such as not sunbathing at midday, eating cold food, and taking special care of children and the elderly. Elsewhere, according to the spokesperson for the National Meteorology Institute, Angel Rivera, this Summer (which started at 2.26pm yesterday) will be similar to the last, in general terms, although higher than average temperatures will be experienced, along with less rainfall than usual in the south east of the Peninsula. At the same time he warned that the temperature of the air masses over the north of Africa are really “rather high” and similar to those in 2003, so if they reach Spain “there could be a possibility” of another “heatwave” as there was then. Actually, based on the seasonal temperature and rainfall forecast models with which the European Centre of Middle Range Forecasts is experimenting, Rivera said that “the average temperatures this Summer are going to be above average in the south east of the Peninsula and will be practically normal in the rest of the regions in Spain. Nevertheless, this “does not mean that there will not be times when temperatures will rise considerably for two or three days”. As for rainfall, Rivera explained that “in most parts of Spain it will be average”.