Days of cold, heavy rain and snow predicted: will Spain face new Filomena?

by Lorraine Williamson
cold snap expected in Spain

Experts indicate that Spain could face a situation similar to that of January 2021. The Madrid municipality has activated the cold alert for temperatures of -3.3º for Monday 8 January.

The Epiphany weekend brought plenty of cold and a general drop in temperature accompanied by precipitation in large parts of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands. Snow also whitewashed the main mountain ranges and some Spanish cities, affecting 23 roads and two motorways.

Snow and warnings

There has been abundant and persistent snowfall in several parts of Spain, including the Cantabrian mountains, the northern Iberian system and the Pyrenees, where there are active warnings for accumulations of up to 10 cm, according to Meteored.

Chance of new Filomena

Martín Barreiro, presenter and meteorologist at RTVE, gave the key to the forecast for the coming days. ‘We are all watching closely what will happen,’ he told the news programme, referring to the possibility of a shower like the one in 2021.

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‘The first week after Epiphany, it will be plenty of winter. We don’t want to talk about Filomena 2.0, but we could be talking about a similar situation,’ Barreiro said after explaining that in the coming days there will be colder air, but also drier air.

Conditions are different

The atmospheric conditions predicted for the second week of the year are very similar to those that characterised Filomena’s arrival, but they are not the same. Meteored thus indicates the ingredients expected for these days, with some nuances:

The presence of an influx of cold air from the northwest, and in low layers, in large parts of the peninsula; the possible arrival of an Atlantic shower from the south. Subsequent intensification of the shower and transformation into a Mediterranean shower, with a contribution of moist flow from the east; and the presence of a cold polar air entering from France towards Galicia. This cold polar trough may become a DANA over the north-western peninsula.

Small chance of snow

The weather service warns that the situation for the coming week is “quite complex”, as a cold air pocket is expected to rise and a Mediterranean shower may develop. It is therefore possible that snow will fall in many areas of eastern Spain and even the central peninsula on Wednesday, including Madrid. But the chances of this seem low for now.

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