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Mallorca

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Physical Aspects


Climate

m214.gif (29311 Byte)The Mallorca climate is Mediterranean, characterised by dry and hot summers, a season colder and humid with maximum rainfalls at the beginning of autumn.

The temperature and the precipitation are the more important elements than show the character of the climate and the weather. In Mallorca, both together have a coincidental spatial distribution, so the drier areas have the higher temperatures and lower precipitation. This situation promotes a dry period coincident with the summer months.


Temperatures

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Mallorca has a typical Mediterranean climate characterised by cool winter, few rain and mild temperatures. The summers are dry and warm.
Along of the year the temperature is mild. The annual mean temperature is 16ºC, and oscillates between the summer maximum in August (29º C and 31º C) and the minimum in winter (5º C and 9º C), in the January and February months. The winters' mean temperature in the plain areas is 13-14 º C.

The territorial contrasts of the temperatures are very related to the topography. There are two areas with lower temperature: the highest areas, the Tramuntana mountain range along the North West coast and the Llevant mountain range in the South East, and the Campos basin in the South West. Other secondary factors apart from influence of the temperature are the terrain convexity, the mountain barriers, the sea distance and the housing development.

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Precipitation

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The annual mean precipitation of Mallorca is approx. 600-mm, with an irregular season distribution. The maximum is concentrated mainly in late summer and during autumn.

On the other hand, the Balearic Islands, as all the Mediterranean regions, have a high frequency and concentration of cyclogenesis, which produces extreme weather events with some heavy rainfall and strong winds. Rainfalls of over 200 mm in 24 hours have been registered from time to time, leading to damaging flash floods. The summer is dry.

The territorial distribution is related to the topography. The maximum is in the mountainous areas (greater than 1400-mm annuals) and the minimum at the coast (lower than 300-mm annuals).

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Winds

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The intensive Mediterranean cyclogenesis in the cold season produces a predominance of northern winds following of Southwest winds. In the summer season the Northeast winds are the prevailing, relatively calm.

One characteristic of the Mallorca's climate is the summer maritime breeze called "embat". In the summertime, there is big difference between the daily heating of the interior areas of the island and the sea side areas. It causes a thermic descent in the central area of the island. This anomaly moves a sea breeze, which is relatively cool. The breeze disappears when the sunshine is getting ineffective.

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© 1999 TRIANET, Program of the European Union Socrates-Comenius
Last update on 18.02.2000 by Markus Zapke-Gründemann