WEATHER – January is normally the coldest month of the year in Spain. And after an atypical end to the year with spring temperatures, the drop in temperatures is being felt across the country. Furthermore, there is talk of the first cold front of 2022.
Many Spaniards fear the arrival of a storm similar to Filomena, which hit Spain at the beginning of last year. However, the situation does not seem to be as bad for a large part of Spain. Nor does it seem as bad a cold front as last year, according to the Spanish weather service eltiempo.es. A year ago, the city of Madrid in particular experienced heavy snowfall, the like of which had not occurred in over a century. At that time, some 1.25 million tonnes of snow fell and the mayor spoke of a catastrophe.
What does it take for heavy snowfall?
According to the UK met office, precipitation falls as snow when the air temperature is below 2 °C. It is a myth that it needs to be below zero to snow. In fact, in the UK, the heaviest snowfalls tend to occur when the air temperature is between zero and 2 °C.
The air has to be moist
“Snow is formed when temperatures are low and there is moisture in the atmosphere in the form of tiny ice crystals” says the met office.
The air must be equally cold at all altitudes
Another important point is that the air must be cold at all altitudes, that is, ‘both the air temperature at the ground and above it must be below zero degrees’. Because, ‘if the temperature is higher than zero degrees while the snowflakes are falling, the logical consequence is that the snow will melt’.
Why is every snowflake unique?
The met office confirms the fact that every snowflake is unique. Part of the enduring appeal of snowflakes is their intricate appearance and near-infinite variation, meaning that all snowflakes are different. The number of possibilities of nuances in temperature and humidity as the snowflake falls to the ground is limitless.
If you look closely at a snowflake you will see countless individual features, all having formed ever so slightly different in direction or shape, owing to the slightest change in the environment in which it formed.
Read about the British tourists having traffic problems due to the snow.