IN PICS: Madrid transformed into winter wonderland with heaviest snowfall in decades

The first flakes began to fall late on Thursday morning as Storm Filomena swept across the peninsula leaving a rare dusting of snow on the Spanish capital.

IN PICS: Madrid transformed into winter wonderland with heaviest snowfall in decades
Photos: AFP

Authorities placed Madrid on the highest level of alert for freezing temperatures for the first time since the system was created in 2007 as the Met office warned Madrileños to brace for the heaviest snowfall so far this century.

By Friday afternoon, authorities closed parks across Madrid as paths became perilously icy and up to 20cm of snow was predicted, while across Spain 29 provinces were issued with weather warnings.

Ruben del Campo, a spokesman for the State Meteorological Agency AEMET said: “Perhaps we would have to go back to the snowfall of February 1984 or to that of March 1971 to find similar precedents if the forecasts we are expecting are correct.”

The mercury plummeted as Spain registered the lowest temperature ever recorded on the Iberian peninsula, of -35.8ºC in the Picos de Europa, beating the previous record of -34.1ºC registered in the Pyrenees the day before.

Here are some of the best pictures from across Madrid:

The Bear and Madroño Tree statue in Puerta del Sol

The Royal Palace

A person walking in Sabatini Gardens

Madrid's Retiro Park

Plaza Mayor

Making a snowman

Throwing snowballs


Shoppers in downtown Madrid.

Dogs playing in the snow in Malasaña's Plaza Dos de Mayo. Photo: Fiona Govan/The Local



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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.