The head of forecasting at Aemet in the Balearics, Bernat Amengual, says that there was 60% less rainfall than normal in Majorca between January and March. This calculation is based on the reference period Aemet uses - 1981 to 2010 - and it was higher in Ibiza (75%) but much lower in Minorca (23%).
Despite this deficit, Amengual stresses that there aren't drought conditions. Rainfall data do not mean that an official drought needs to be declared. However, if rainfall from now until summer isn't "normal", the situation could become critical. Autumn is the rainiest season in the Balearics, followed by late winter and early spring. This year, the rainfall for the latter was significantly lower than normal.
Joan Simonet of the Asaja agricultural businesses association believes that the current situation is fairly bad. Cereal, forage and legume losses are being predicted, mainly in the south of Majorca. Livestock farmers are facing having to buy in forage if there isn't normal rainfall.
The sector has asked the environment and agriculture ministry to convene the drought working party to monitor the situation.