The second week of January is marked by the intensification of what is the first winter episode of this season. On Tuesday afternoon, a DANA entered Spain from the Cantabrian Sea.
In addition to the cold, showers also entered the country from the Mediterranean region. This combination has already caused a drop in temperature and a storm of rain and snow, which will continue on Wednesday and put several regions on alert. The situation will last until Thursday.
On Wednesday, the showers will spread over almost all of Spain, although they will be more intense in Catalonia and in the Balearic Islands, especially in the afternoon. Much of this precipitation will come in the form of snow, especially in areas of Aragon, Castile and Leon, Catalonia, Navarre, La Rioja and the Basque Country, where the Spanish weather service AEMET has already activated code.
Snow depths will drop to 500-600 metres in the interior of Navarre and the Basque Country. In the Iberian system and the Pyrenees they will be located at 700-1000 metres or even at 500 metres. And, in the Cantabrian Mountains, the altitude will drop to 700-900 metres throughout the day. In the central system and the southern sierras, it will snow above 1,200-1,400 metres.
Warnings, snowploughs, suspended buses…
Faced with these meteorological conditions, several regions have already begun preparations. The government of Castilla-La Mancha has urged its people to avoid unnecessary travel. “We have to be careful and I ask all citizens to respond to the requests of the authorities,” said the regional Minister for Sustainable Development, who also pointed out that all available resources have been made available to civil protection in case of emergency.
Navarre has announced the mobilisation of 107 snow ploughs and has advised the use of snow chains and extreme caution, especially in the central and Pyrenean areas. The same advice has been given in Catalonia, where it is recommended to make essential journeys only.
The DANA in Spain has also suspended more than 100 school trips planned for Wednesday in Aragon. A measure taken to “ensure the safety of pupils”, according to the Ministry of Education, and which has affected more than 1,100 pupils, most of them in Huesca.