Spain set for big freeze as polar vortex rolls in

Temperatures are set to plummet across much of Spain and could reach below -10C in some places as a polar vortex sweeps across Spain.

Spain set for big freeze as polar vortex rolls in
Photo: johnny007pandp/Depositphotos

Spain is already experiencing a cold spell but it is about to get even chillier with an area of low pressure and icy blasts spinning in from the north.

Spain’s meteorological agency said temperatures are expected to drop by between eight and ten degrees on Wednesday to below -5C across much of the central northern interior of Spain and as low as -10C in some places.

High winds will make it feel even colder and frosts are predicted across much of the northern half of the peninsula.

But the cold snap will not likely bring snow but is expected to remain dry except in coastal areas – the Balearic Islands and Mediterranean coast –  where rainfall is predicted.

AEMET have already activated weather alerts for cold temperatures in the provinces of Orense, Palencia, Ávila, Madrid, Guadalajara, Seville, and Córdoba for Wednesday but are expected to extend the alerts on Thursday.

The cold temperatures are expected to last the week but it will begin to get warmer at the weekend.

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


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.