Spring delayed in Spain with promise of fresh snow

It may be the spring equinox tomorrow but don’t pack away the winter coats just yet, as a new cold front sweeps across Spain bringing snow wind and plummeting temperatures.

Spring delayed in Spain with promise of fresh snow
Photo: AFP

A total of 41 provinces were issued with weather alerts by Spain’s meteorological society AEMET with some regions expecting a blanket of snow.

Provinces in the north and at altitude are on amber alert for snow; Cantabria, León, Segovia, Soria, Navarra and Asturias.

While snow is also expected in Jaén, Huesca, Zaragoza, Teruel, Albacete, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Ávila, Burgos, Palencia, Salamanca, Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, Tarragona, Madrid, Castellón, Cáceres, Lugo, Ourense, La Rioja, Álava, Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia and Murcia, where the lesser yellow alerts have been issued.

Coastal areas are being warned to expect strong winds and high seas, particularly in Almería, Cantabria, Tarragona, Castellón, Valencia, Ibiza y Formentera, Asturias and Murcia.

Those areas likely to escape snowfall can instead expect torrential rain.

Motorists are advised to check the status of roads on the website of Spain's Traffic Department before embarking on their journey, and then in red alert areas to avoid making unnecessary journeys.

READ: Eight essential ways to tackle winter like a true Spaniard

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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.