THE Balearics could be in for some extreme weather conditions, reported the Islands' Meteorological Centre yesterday, inspite of the fact that general predictions for the Mediterranean basin are that it will get hotter with less rainfall.

Following a conference in Palma held by various experts focusing on emergency conditions produced by adverse weather, the centre's director - Agustí Jansa - and professor of physics at the Balearic University - Romualdo Romero - explained that climatic change will produce a higher atmospheric temperature which provokes accentuated planetary energy - in turn producing more frequent intense storms. The case of the Balearic Islands, said Romero, is one of a mountainous western Mediterranean zone which is prone to frequent cyclonic activity in its northern regions which break over the sea as storms or intense localised rainfall. Examples of such weather patterns were seen at their most dangerous in the hurricane which hit the Balearics in November of 2001 wreaking considerable havoc.

The experts went on to explain that this cyclonic activity will move even further northwards so that although there will be less rainfall and greater periods of ambient weather, the localised atmospheric energy will remain at intense levels. This, combined with a warmer sea which is more likely to give off water vapour, is an explosive combination which, it is predicted, will trigger extreme weather conditions.


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