"A hot day is forecasted - at 8am the air temperature in Funchal was already 26.6 degrees - dry, and the relative humidity of the air up to Lugar-de-Baixo [Ponta de Sol] was from around 10 percent to 15 percent. An invasion of dust is expected, which, in principle, will reduce visibility", said the director of the Meteorological Observatory of Funchal, Vítor Prior.

"It is a mass of hot and dry air, an eastern situation, accompanied by dust", he said.

The dust will reach the south coast all day, until Tuesday, 25 February, but the most critical period will be in the late afternoon.

According to Vítor Prior, from Tuesday there will be a reduction in temperature and the dust will occur with less intensity.

Dust and the consequent reduction in visibility "may or may not affect Madeira airport, if the visibility reduction is not less than five kilometres, which is the limit for operating there".

The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA) placed the south coast of Madeira under yellow warning for hot weather until 9pm Monday, but since Saturday, 22 February, the archipelago has recorded high temperatures for the month of February.

On 23 February, the highest daily maximum temperature so far reached in February - 27.7 degrees - was recorded, a figure that on 24 February can be surpassed.

"Today (24 February) the temperature should reach 28 degrees in some points on the south coast", said Vítor Prior.

The highest values ??that had been recorded in the past in February were in 2004 (27 degrees) and in 1949 (26.6 degrees).

Despite these atmospheric conditions, air movement at Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo Airport is normal.

According to the IPMA, the weather forecasts for Madeira are of moderate to strong wind (20 to 40 kilometres / hour) from the east quadrant, blowing strongly (40 to 50 kilometres / hour) in the highlands and sometimes with gusts up to 70 kilometres / hour, becoming weak to moderate (10 to 30 kilometres / hour) from the afternoon.

With regard to the state of the sea, on the north coast the waves will be from the northeast with two to 2.5 metres, passing the waves from the northwest with 1.5 to two metres, and on the south coast the waves will be from the southeast with one to 1.5 metres.

The sea water temperature will be 19 degrees centigrade.