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WEATHER

In pics: Freak summer storm batters northern Spain with giant hailstones

Windows were broken and cars were dented when hailstones bigger than golf balls rained down on villages in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

In pics: Freak summer storm batters northern Spain with giant hailstones

The storms hit late Monday night causing severe damage to towns in pockets of Navarra in northern Spain.

Residents posted photos of the extraordinarily large hailstones and the damage that they did in storms that hit the region about 10.30pm on Monday night.

One local in Liedena collected some hailstones and placed them next to a hen’s egg because they were comparable in size.

In nearby Yesa, a resident photographed a hailstone in the palm of her hand that was about the size of a tennis ball.

Other residents posted photographs of damage to cars caused by the giant hailstorms.

Storms hit parts of northern Spain, while the south continued to suffer a heatwave that has been dubbed ‘Lucifer’ as it swept across southern Europe.

WEATHER

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.

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