Storm warnings for Spain as icy blast hits

Northern Spain is set to be covered in a blanket of snow while the Atlantic coast is braced for icy winds.

Storm warnings for Spain as icy blast hits
Archive image of icy roads in Spain. Photo: AFP

Spain’s weather agency AEMET has issued red storm warnings for coastal areas in the norhwestern region of Galicia while the Cantabrian coast from Asturias to the Basque Country is on orange alert for high seas, strong winds and torrential rain.



Waves were expected to reach up to 9 metres in Galicia and 7 metres on the Cantabrian coast.

Across the northern half of the peninsula, in mountainous areas and plateaus over 700 metres, snowfall of up to a metre is expected to fall within the next 48 hours.

Snow was also predicted to fall in the Sierra Norte mountain range just to the north of Madrid, with 20cms expected above 1,000 metres.  

A total of 39 provinces had weather warnings in place for Thursday. 

Authorities warned drivers to be well prepared for the adverse weather; to pack emergency provisions and carry snow chains.

Selfie-seekers were reminded of the risks of coastal photography in such conditions.

“Stay clear of the beach and other places that may be hit by high tides or big waves caused by the intense winds,” said AEMET in its daily briefing.

“Do not put your life at risk in order to take that great shot of big waves.”

Authorities have issued guidelines for motorists to ensure they are properly equipped in case they encounter bad winter conditions on the roads.

The kits should include snow chains for the tyres, a shovel in case you need to dig the car out of a snowdrift, warm weather clothing and emergency rations.


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.


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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.