A drop in temperatures across Spain from today (Wednesday) to levels slightly below average for the time of the year will not affect the Balearics until Friday.

Aemet, the national meteorological agency, says that the east coast of the peninsula will also remain unaffected today - indeed temperatures will rise - until a cold front moves across Spain and into the Mediterranean.

In the Balearics, therefore, hot days and nights will continue until Friday, when it is anticipated that there may well be showers and storms.

Spain’s national weather agency says July was the country’s hottest month on record. In a statement on Wednesday, the AEMET agency said the average temperature in Spain last month was 26.5 degrees Celsius (79.7 Fahrenheit). The agency said August 2003 had previously been the hottest month on record with an average temperature of 26.2 C (79.2F).

Cordoba reported July’s highest temperature, reaching 45.2 degrees C (113.4 F) on 6 July. The southern city of Seville registered the same temperature three days later. Here in the Balearics, the maximums were extremely close to the 40ºC mark.

And yesterday, a wildfire that officials suspect was started deliberately forced the evacuation of a third town in western Spain.

“The wind fanned the flames and caused the fire to spread, forcing the evacuation of Hoyos due to the proximity of the blaze and especially the smoke,” local Red Cross official José López Santana told Spanish public radio. “For families it is very hard not being able to remain at home but saving lives must be our top priority,” the head of the regional government, Guillermo Fernandez Vara, said.

The cause of the fire was still undetermined but “everything seems to indicate” that arson was to blame, he added.