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WEATHER

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.

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WEATHER

Arctic cold front brings snow and heavy rain to much of Spain

Temperatures are set to plummet across much of central and northern Spain on Monday as an Arctic cold front drags in snow and rain storms which are expected to last for most of the week. 

Arctic cold front brings snow and heavy rain to much of Spain
Up to 20cm of snow is expected to fall in Castilla-La Mancha and Aragón during this cold front. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

It’s set to get markedly colder in the northern half of Spain as of Monday November 22nd as the first official cold front of this autumn hits the Iberian Peninsula.

Spain’s national weather agency AEMET has put the northern regions of Aragón and La Rioja on orange alert for heavy snow, with 20 cm expected to fall within 24 hours. 

But la nieve (snow in Spanish) is also expected in relatively low altitude areas in Madrid, Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha. 

Percentage of snowfall probability on Tuesday November 23rd. Map: AEMET
Percentage of snowfall probability across Spain on Tuesday November 23rd. Map: AEMET

The Spanish regions on yellow alert for this polar front are Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia and Madrid. 

In addition, the Balearic Islands and the Valencia region are on alert for heavy rainfall. 

Probabability of storms across Spain on Tuesday November 23rd. Map: AEMET
Probability percentage of storms across Spain on Tuesday November 23rd. Map: AEMET

Persistent rain is also forecast throughout the week in Catalonia.

The polar weather event is expected to reach its peak on Tuesday. 

Temperatures forecast for 8am on Tuesday November 23rd. Map: AEMET

Spain’s Ministry of Transport has prepared 412 snowplows and 57,214 tonnes of antifreeze to combat the snowfall. 

Spain’s traffic authority the DGT has also asked for caution and responsible travel planning to avoid unnecessary risks.

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