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WEATHER

Spain gets first cold snap and snow after months of heat records

Much of Spain will see temperatures drop considerably over the weekend with more rain and some snowfall forecast, a welcome change for most after the country had the hottest October on record this year. 

Spain gets first cold snap and snow after months of heat records
Although this cold snap won’t last long, it will still seem like a breath of fresh (and cold) air for people in Spain, who since May have endured hotter weather than usual for the time of year (Photo by DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP)

The rainy and windy weather Spain has experienced in recent days will give way to a cold snap on Friday, officially waving goodbye to the unusual veranillo (little summer) the country has had in October and November.  

A maritime polar front will sweep through Spain over the course of the weekend, and although the mercury won’t drop below zero in most places, it will be considerably colder than it has been, especially in the centre and north of the country. 

“It is probable that in the coldest places in the country temperatures can drop even below -5ºC,” said Rubén del Campo, of Spain’s national weather agency AEMET. 

“The drop in temperatures will be gradual, cold air will start in the north of Spain and make its way south, with minimums expected in the evening,” renowned Spanish weatherman Roberto Brasero added. 

According to Spanish weather website eltiempo.es, some parts of Aragón in northeastern Spain will see the mercury drop between 8C and 9 C and 6C in other regions such as Murcia, Catalonia, La Rioja and throughout central Spain.

Temperatures in inland cities such as Madrid, Cuenca, Logroño, Palencia and Salamanca will not exceed 12C during the day, while in the Canary Islands there will be a more moderate drop in temperatures.

The thermometer will hover between 13C and 17C in most of Andalusia during the day on Saturday and Sunday.

People in other cities in Spain’s interior such as Ávila, Soria, Burgos, Teruel, Toledo, Albacete, Valladolid and Pamplona will have to wrap up warm as temperatures below 5C are forecast.

Snowfall is also expected in the northeast and centre of the country at heights of 1,100 metres above sea level.

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Madrid authorities have announced a ‘snowfall plan’ which includes the quick deployment of snowplows, tens of thousands of tonnes of salt and more than 600 emergency workers, with the capital not keen for a repeat of the damage caused by Storm Filomena in January 2021.

The rainy weather will also continue in northern Spain and heavy rainfall will fall in the Balearic Islands on Saturday. 

By Sunday, minimum temperatures across much of Spain will increase, rainfall will be lighter and maximum temperatures will rise but remain below 20C across the mainland. 

Although this cold snap won’t last long, it will still seem like a breath of fresh (and cold) air for people in Spain, who since May have endured hotter weather than usual for the time of year.

It was the hottest month of October since 1961, the summer saw three intense heatwaves that caused record heat-related deaths and wildfires and the country recorded the second earliest heatwave in its history in May.

READ ALSO: October 2022 was the hottest in Spain since records began

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WEATHER

IN PICTURES: Northern Spain hit by snowfall and storms amid weather warnings

Storms Gerard and Fien continue to wreak havoc throughout Spain with snowfall or high winds across much of the country.

IN PICTURES: Northern Spain hit by snowfall and storms amid weather warnings

Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has issued orange-level warnings on Wednesday due to snowfall and strong winds in 27 provinces, particularly in the north of the country.

Snowfall, rain, high waves and hurricane-force winds have already battered parts of Spain since Monday, January 16th causing the closures of some promenades, beaches and the parks in A Coruña, huge nine-metre waves in the Cantabrian Sea, the blocking of roads and rivers bursting their banks. 

On Tuesday January 17th, the storm forced the cancellation of a flight between Madrid and Vigo, and another that was destined for A Coruña had to be diverted to Santiago de Compostela.

So far, Galicia has been the region most affected by the storm, but there has also been snowfall in places in Castilla y León, Aragón, the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarra and even in parts of Valencia. 

In the Huesca province of Aragón 16 school routes have been blocked because of the snow, affecting a total of 207 students and temperatures have dropped below -20C. 

In the Ribera del Ebro in La Rioja, an orange warning has been issued and AEMET has warned that snowfall could reach up to 5cm.

In León, the City Council has suspended the city’s urban bus service as a result of the snowfall on Wednesday morning.

The city of Vitoria-Gasteiz in the Basque Country woke up to a blanket of white this morning. 

In Cantabria, the snowfall has been causing havoc on the highways and main roads with many of them blocked. 

In Galicia, the arctic air mass will remain over the region for 24 more hours, according to AEMET, which will continue to cause snow showers at levels between 400 and 600 metres. The Galician coast is also still on orange alert, with waves over six metres and strong winds.

The white stuff has covered the city Ávila too. 

 
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