MADRID – The winter in northern Spain has really started with Arctic storm Arwen. Heavy snow showers will also occur on Sunday in parts of Cantabria, Navarra, the Basque Country, Asturias, Aragón, La Rioja and Castilla y León. The mercury has dropped to minus 13 degrees Celsius in places.
Fourteen autonomous communities remain alert to various meteorological phenomena as a result of Arctic storm Arwen. In Cantabria, Navarra and the Basque Country code red (maximum risk) applies for extreme risk due to heavy snow showers. Weather alerts shift to orange (major risk) for snowfall for Aragon, Asturias, Castilla y León and La Rioja. The same as on Saturday, only on Sunday Catalonia is added.
The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda reported on Friday it has 709 pieces of snow removal equipment. Further, it has a storage capacity of 137,735 tons of flux available to handle the snowfall in Aragon, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y León and La Rioja this weekend.
The ministry called on citizens to exercise caution and take extreme precautions when driving on the road.
Traffic hampered in the north
Since Saturday, the snow showers have hampered traffic in the northern third of the peninsula. Particularly affected are the Cantabrian Mountains and the north of Castilla y León. According to the DGT Directorate-General for Transport, the A-15 highway between Pamplona and San Sebastián, has been completely cut off at Leitza (Navarra) in the direction of the capital Gipuzkoa. The A-67 highway, which connects Cantabria with the plateau, is affected between Arenas de Iguña (Cantabria) and Aguilar de Campóo (Palencia). The transit of trucks and articulated vehicles is prohibited in this section.
Across the country, at 12 noon on Saturday, a total of 116 kilometres of roads and mountain passes, almost all secondary, had a black service level (thick snow, closed for traffic). 426 kilometres were red (completely covered road, prohibited for articulated vehicles, trucks and buses).
In addition, according to the DGT, there are 303 kilometres in code yellow; road almost covered, traffic prohibited for trucks and a limit of 60 kilometres per hour for cars.