Cold snap darkens weekend outlook

Spring is going to go into brief remission this weekend with cold temperatures expected across much of mainland Spain.

Cold snap darkens weekend outlook
Winter jackets may have to be rescued from the closet again this weekend. File photo: R Hensley/Flickr

After a fortnight of glorious spring weather across most of the country, Spain is bracing itself for the arrival of a front which will see cold air sweeping in from the north.

The north and centre of the country can expect temperatures which will hover around the ten degrees mark, reported news agency EFE on Tuesday evening.

Temperatures will be significantly lower than average for this time of year from Saturday through to Monday, said the Spanish news agency AEMET.

Meanwhile, icy conditions with temperatures between 2 and –5 degrees could take hold in parts of Cantabria, Castile and Leon and in the Pyrenees.

The Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands will be less affected by the cold front. There will, however, be the chance of intense rainfall in the east of the peninsula and in Balearic Islands over the weekend.

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Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.