Weather in Spain: Ten regions on alert for snow as winter storm hits Spain | Spain
Ten Spanish regions were on alert for snowfall as of Tuesday as the country prepared to face the first winter storm of the season head-on.
The storm – which arrived on Monday, 10 days before the meteorological onset of winter – is caused by “the arrival of a mass of cold air from high altitudes which triggered a sharp drop in temperatures,” said said Rubén del Campo, the spokesperson for the Spanish national meteorological agency Aemet. According to Del Campo, this cold air mass also caused a slow thunderstorm system, officially known as the isolated altitude depression (DANA) but more commonly known in Spain as the gota fría, or literally cold drip.
On Tuesday, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León and La Rioja were placed on orange alert for snowfall, which is the second highest in Aemet’s three-tier warning system. Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia, northern Madrid, Navarre and the region of Valencia are on yellow alert, which is the lowest.
In the past 24 hours, snow has fallen at lower and lower elevations, with snow recorded Monday evening at 800 meters in the far north of the country. According to the Spanish traffic authority DTG, traffic restrictions have been introduced on nearly 750 kilometers of roads in 10 provinces, mainly in northern Spain, due to the accumulation of snow.
Torrential rains, heavy swells and strong winds were also expected in parts of Spain on Tuesday. Six regions – Aragon, Asturias, the Balearic Islands, Galicia, Catalonia and Valencia – were on alert for heavy rainfall, with up to 40 millimeters per hour expected. Asturias, Catalonia and Galicia have received warnings for heavy swells of up to five meters, while Catalonia has been put on alert for wind gusts of up to 80 kilometers per hour. Catalonia, which is on red alert for precipitation, and the region of Valencia have also received storm warnings.
Temperatures are also expected to drop on the Spanish mainland, with the exception of Galicia. Readings on thermometers are expected to drop below 10 ° C in up to 22 provincial capitals, with Ávila expected to see highs of just 3 ° C.
Winter weather is expected to continue throughout the week, with another storm expected to hit Spain on Thursday. The Canary Islands, located off the coast of northwest Africa, are expected to be largely spared, although heavy rainfall is expected from Thursday, especially in the western part of the archipelago.
Vaya granizada! Una fuerte tormenta ha descargado esta pasada madrugada con mucha intensidad en el interior de la Vega Baja, en Elche y también en la ciudad de #Alicante. Desde allí, Miguel Tagres our envía estas impresionantes imágenes de las calles llenas de agua y granizo. pic.twitter.com/ClQzhVZcVD
-Proyecto Mastral (@ProyectoMastral) 23 November 2021
What a hailstorm! A strong storm at dawn hit with great intensity the interior areas of Vega Baja, in Elche, as well as the city of Alicante. From there Miguel Tagres sent us these amazing images of streets filled with water and hail.
According to Del Campo, Tuesday will be “the most unfavorable day of this winter episode”. On Wednesday, snow is expected to fall in the same areas, but with less intensity, as maximum temperatures begin to rise. Torrential rains are also expected to continue in Cantabria and eastern Catalonia. On Thursday, the storm is expected to be replaced by one from the north, with heavy rains expected to continue through Friday. In the northern half of the Spanish mainland there could be snow at altitudes of 700 meters. Cold temperatures are also expected to continue over the weekend.
The drop in temperatures due to the early winter storm was sudden and significant, especially in interior regions of mainland Spain, where the high fell six and eight degrees on Monday compared to Sunday, Del Campo said. In the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Spain, temperatures dropped to -12 ° C in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The storm also caused torrential rains in the province of Alicante in the region of Valencia and in southern Catalonia. The province of Tarragona recorded 67 millimeters of rain per hour on Monday, with 125 liters falling between midnight and 8 a.m. on Tuesday. This made Monday the rainiest November day since 1920. A strong hailstorm also hit the towns of Alicante and Elche.