Spanish Word of the Day: DANA

Alex Dunham
Alex Dunham - [email protected]
Spanish Word of the Day: DANA
A DANA is usually synonymous with very heavy rain in Spain. Photo: Vlad Chetan/Unsplash

Here’s a term you’ll hear a lot when Spain experiences very heavy rain. 


DANA is an acronym which stands for Depresión Aislada en Niveles Altos.

It’s also often referred to as gota fría (cold drop), but the term DANA has become increasingly popular in Spain, and not just among meteorologists. 

There isn’t a direct translation of DANA into English, and that could partly be because this phenomenon only occurs in the east of the Atlantic, the east of the Pacific and China’s coast.


DANAs can be best described as periods of heavy rain, stormy weather and a sudden drop in temperatures. 

In English, you’d probably call it a cold front with torrential rain, or just a very bad storm. 

In more technical terms, a DANA is a meteorological phenomenon caused by differences in temperature and atmospheric pressure between the polar and equatorial regions.

The greater the temperature difference, the greater the storm, hence why the worst DANAs are usually at the tail end of summer in September. 

Examples of how the acronym DANA is used in the Spanish press.


They tend to take place in autumn, they often last two days and usually affect Spain’s Mediterranean Coast the most. 

A DANA is unfortunately often synonymous with torrential rain and flooding, but not always. 

Sometimes DANAs can cause torrential rain, snow storms even, but this isn't guaranteed.

Other words used in Spanish to describe a storm are borrasca and tormenta



La DANA ha causado múltiples destrozos en mi ciudad. 

The storm has caused lots of damage in my city. 


Las calles están anegadas por culpa de las lluvias torrenciales de la DANA.

The streets are flooded due to the storm’s torrential rain.


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