LATEST: Big freeze across Spain set to last into next week

A cold snap that sent the mercury plummeting in the aftermath of Storm Filomena is set to last well into next week, with weather alerts still in place across 23 provinces in Spain.

LATEST: Big freeze across Spain set to last into next week
Madrid's Puerta de Alcalá in the snow. Photo: AFP


The weather alerts are in place across eight regions for cold temperatures with Teruel in Aragon the only province with a red warning. 




Spain’s meteorological agency initially predicted that temperatures would begin to rise from Thursday but revised the forecast and extended the duration of the cold snap from four days to ten, making it the longest lasting period of prolonged freezing temperatures for twenty years.




“The amount of snow on the ground is such that it is preventing the temperatures from rising as was expected,” Rubén del Campo spokesman from the weather agency explained on Thursday.


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He explained that a change  was not expected until next Wednesday when an Atlantic front arrives bringing warmer temperatures and a light wind.

The freezing temperatures have complicated clean up operations in the wake of the Storm Filomena which dumped the heaviest snowfall across the country in half a century.



In Madrid, schools remain closed and many roads are still not cleared as snow turned into packed ice.

The early morning of Tuesday January 12 was “coldest since 1963” in the Community of Madrid and on Wednesday the coldest ever temperature was recorded in Madrid when a new low of  -12ºC was registered in Getafe.


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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.