Spain set for weekend cold snap with heavy rain and storms forecast

A cold front is set to pass over much of Spain this weekend bringing heavy rain and storms in some areas, forecasters said on Friday.

Spain set for weekend cold snap with heavy rain and storms forecast

The Spanish Meteorological Agency (Aemet) predicted downpours in northern regions including Cantabria and the western part of the Pyrenees.

Occasional storms and heavy showers were expected in northern Catalonia and in the eastern part of the Balearic Islands.

Temperatures should fall across the entire Iberian peninsula by Saturday, particularly at night along the Mediterranean coast and in the north east of the country. 

Strong gales are predicted in the northeastern Spain, Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza as well as the Canary Islands. 

Snow is expected in the Pyrenees between 500-1,000 metres above sea level.

By Sunday, forecasters said there will be heavy clouds and rain in Galicia, the western part of the Pyrenees, Castilla y León in northern Spain and the Pyrenees.

Temperatures are set to rise by Monday with only light rain, except in Cantabria, the Mediterranean coast and the Canary Islands. 

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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.