ON August 12 last year, we were all complaining about the torrential rain, thunder storms, power cuts and flooding, today we are all whinging about the unbearable heat. What a difference a year makes. Street thermometres in Palma on Sunday read 45ºC at 1.30pm while at the same time it was 40ºC in the shade in the city centre which was a ghost town.
According to the met office, the maximum in Palma was 37ºc.
The heatwave is going to continue.
In the short term, temperatures are going to rise here in the Balearics and across Spain today and tomorrow although a slight fall in temperature is expected in about ten days time. But, the gradual decline in temperatures is not expected to effect the Balearics Angel Rivera, chief forecaster at the Spanish met office said yesterday. The north of Spain can expect the sharpest fall in temperatures, between four and five degrees while the rest of the country will notice a slight fall of between two and three degrees. However in the Balearics, temperatures will remain steady for a lot longer. In the long term, the heatwave, although slightly moderate in the Balearics, could continue well into September in the Mediterranean.
But, at least we are enjoying the long hot summer the Balearics is famous for. Remember last year?
On August 12 2002, terraces and roads were flooded across the Balearics and one person died in Ibiza as torrential rain and gale force winds lashed the region. In Capdepera, the rain fell at 66 litres per square metre all night while Majorca was struck by 15'000 bolts of lightning. Large parts of Llucmajor, Calvia, Marratxi, Palma and Alcudia were flooded with the emergency services either pumping out basements and garages or clearing fallen trees off the local roads. 6'500 people spent the night without power and the Balearics spent the rest of the week on storm alert. Traffic was thrown into chaos in Palma as roads were flooded and traffic lights went down while firefighters had to prop up a number of old buildings which were starting to give way under the heavy rain. This year however, it is a different story.
Hospitals are dealing with an influx of heat related illnesses and the battle is to keep cool as opposed to keeping dry.
Yesterday doctors warned that the combination of excessive use of air conditioning and the hot wind that is blowing across the country is causing an increase in eye infections, in particular conjunctivitis. The price of chicken also shot up over the weekend, the heat has led to the asphixiation of thousands of chickens in Spain leading to a price rise.
Doctors have also warned about eating raw fish as the high temperatures are keeping a potentially fatal bacteria alive.

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