SPAIN’S weather agency has activated an alert in the Balearic Islands for a weather phenomenon known as ‘rissaga’ which causes sudden wave swells of at least two metres.

The yellow warning means there is a likelihood of between 40% to 70% that a ‘meteotsunami’ will be experienced on the island of Menorca.

A meteotsunami is a sea wave with a height of 2 meters or more produced by sudden changes in atmospheric pressure.

The most severe meteotsunami registered in the Balearics was in the Menorcan port of Ciutadella – it had oscillations of up to four meters and caused damage to several boats.

In Spain, meteotsunamis usually happen in Menorca where they are also known as “rissagas” – according to the Aemet, the morphology of some ports such as Ciutadella can amplify the phenomenon.

Meteotsunamis have similar characteristics to a tsunami, but their origins are meteorological and not seismic – which means that meteotsunamis do not happen as a consequence of earthquakes on the seabed or due to displacement of land.

The Balearic Islands also have medium to high forest alerts in place due to high temperatures – on Sunday night record high minimum temperatures were recorded in some areas, Palma Porto Pi 29ºC, Banyalbufar 29,6ºC and Pollensa 27,66ºC.

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