Spain to experience drop in temperatures and snowfall

It's been an usually warm winter so far with temperatures well above normal for this time of year and a lack of snowfall in the mountainous areas of Spain, but that's soon about to change.

Spain to experience drop in temperatures and snowfall
Snowfall for Spain. Photo: Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP

From Monday, January 16th, temperatures across Spain will fall sharply, producing rain and snow across the county, according to the latest weather predictions by Spain’s State Meteorological Agency AEMET. 

For the first time this winter there will be snowfall at medium heights, which will be noticeable in the northern half of Spain, with snow below 1,000 meters, specifically, between 600 and 800 meters of altitude, they said. 

According to AEMET, “a cold and humid flow from the northwest over the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands” is expected. 

This indicates that there will be “rainfall on the Atlantic and Cantabrian slopes and in the Balearic Islands”. They added that they are not ruling out rainfall in the rest of the Mediterranean area too. 

The weather agency also indicated that there will also be more snow. “As of Tuesday the 17th, precipitation will be likely in the northwestern areas with the probability of snow in the mountain ranges”, they confirmed.

Meteorology experts also predict that the cold weather could continue beyond next week and that January could end with the effects of a polar vortex. A polar vortex is a large area of low-pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles.

“In recent weeks, the polar vortex remains stronger than ever or, at least, stronger than what had been observed up to now,” explained experts from Meteored.

“The consequences are difficult to predict and,” they continued. This phenomenon has been related to a greater probability of the production of cold air from the Arctic, “but the truth is that it is not possible to know where these cold air masses are going”. 

This is good news for winter sports fans as some ski resorts have had to delay opening due to the lack of snowfall. 

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Provinces across Spain placed on alert for freezing temperatures

Some 30 provinces in 10 different regions across Spain have been put on alert for cold weather this Monday, which could see temperatures go down to -10C.

Provinces across Spain placed on alert for freezing temperatures

Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has warned that many provinces across the country could face sub-zero temperatures this week.  

And it’s not just in northern Spain where the mercury is due to dip below freezing, several places in Andalusia are on alert too.  

AEMET has put out alerts in Córdoba, Seville, Granada, Huesca, Zaragoza, Teruel, Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid, Zamora, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Toledo, Barcelona, ​​Girona, Lleida, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, La Rioja and Alicante, which could experience minimum temperatures between -1C and -9C.  

Early Monday morning, it was already below zero in Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León and Madrid, and snowfall was been recorded in unexpected places including Mallorca and Alicante. 

Widespread frosts are also expected in the interior of the peninsula, as well as the Pyrenees and other mountain systems in the north.  

The Navarran town of Eugi has had a lot of snowfall over the past few weeks. Photo: ANDER GILLENEA / AFP

As for the coastal areas, high waves have been predicted for Cádiz, Granada, Málaga and Girona provinces as well as the enclave of Ceuta. 

AEMET’s forecast for the last week of January also includes possible rainy conditions in the Balearic Islands and Cantabria. Wind and light rains have also been predicted for the Canary Islands. 

The snow level will be at 800 to 1,000 metres in the Balearic Islands this Monday, with fog and morning mists forming in the central and Iberian mountainous areas.