Floods and snow due to first DANA of the winter season in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
winter season has begun

MADRID – The first winter storm of the season has resulted in heavy snowfall and torrential rain in several Spanish regions. Residents there faced flooding, overflowing rivers, and closed roads. 

After the more than 150 litres that fell this Wednesday at some points in the Terres de l’Ebre south of Tarragona, Asturias has registered the most rainfall in the country since last midnight, with 151 litres per square meter in Amieva, 112, 8 in Cabrales, 74.86 in Piloña or 76.4 in Aller. In La Mediana de Ribadesella, 30,000 heads of lettuce and 15,000 kilos of apples were lost due to the flooding of the Sella. 

Furthermore, there was a lot of rain in eastern Asturias. In particular, where authorities at the Sella, Linares, Bedón, Cares, and Deva rivers were on high alert all day because of the rapid rise in levels. The same was true for the municipalities of Piloña, Put, and Güeña. And in Arriondas, the hospital had to be evacuated. Furthermore, 26 patients were discharged and another 29 were transferred in 17 ambulances to hospitals in Avilés, Langreo, Mieres, and Gijón. 

Moreover, as a precaution, 600 students, teachers, and staff from Río Sella Public School and El Sueve High School were evacuated. Also, three members of a family whose house was surrounded by water in Piloña. However, a helicopter from SEPA Asturias arrived in time. 

The SEPA firefighters also deploy a canoe to rescue two women in flooded areas, one in La Noceda, Arriondas, and the other in Las Rozas, Cangas de Onís. 

Heavy rainfall on the Eastern Peninsula 

It also rained heavily on Wednesday in parts of the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, and Catalonia, where the yellow warning (risk) continues, the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) reported. 

The Ebro Observatory recorded a total of 204 litres of water per square metre on Tuesday. That is a record for Catalonia. And the third record with the most rainfall in more than a hundred years at this observation point. The previous records of more rain in one day recorded by this observatory, located in Roquetes (Tarragona), were on September 19, 1943. This was with 265 litres, and on September 30, 1901, with 224.8 litres per square meter. 

Snow in the Cantabrian Mountains 

As for snowfall, the Aemet has pointed out that the snowline will rise little by little. On Wednesday it was between 1,200 and 1,400 metres in the Cantabrian mountains and around 1,400 meters in the Pyrenees. In the central and Iberian systems and the mountains, southeast of the peninsula, the snow line was between 800/1000 metres. And in the east of the Meseta, it dropped here and there to 800/900 metres. 

Despite this increase in the snow line, seven autonomous regions retain code yellow for snow thicknesses between 5-15 centimetres. These are;

  • Aragon
  • Asturias
  • Castilla y León
  • Castilla-La Mancha
  • Catalonia
  • La Rioja
  • Valencian Community,

The snow hit road traffic less than the day before on Wednesday. DGT reports that it had to close truck access to the A-231 in the early hours near Melgar de Fernamental (Burgos); the BU-30 in the capital of Burgos, with 21 kilometres, and the A-67 in the capital of Palencia, with 14 kilometres. 

Also read: Winter sports in Spain, how, what, where, and when? 

In Aragon, passage on the road network in the Pyrenees was made more difficult by the snow. Snow chains were necessary here on the local roads. In Asturias, the mountain pass of Pajares (N-630) was closed to trucks. And it was mandatory to use snow chains for drivers in San Isidro, Leitariegos, Tarna, Somiedo, San Lorenzo, and Ventan. 

It even snowed in the southern province of Málaga. The peaks of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park were covered with a layer of snow. The Sierra Nevada ski area, which is higher, also looks white and will open at the weekend. 

Cold decreases 

The intense cold of the last few days will gradually ease. And we should see a rise in mercury initially in the western half of the peninsula. Nevertheless, a ‘completely winter’ day was registered in Valencia on Wednesday with an afternoon temperature of only 7 degrees. That is the lowest record in the city since April 18 last year. 

Avila and Segovia were the coldest of all provincial capitals this Wednesday, with a maximum of just 3 degrees; followed by Cuenca, León and Teruel with 5, and Albacete, Burgos, Ciudad Real, Huesca, Lugo, Madrid, Zaragoza, and Zamora, which recorded between 6 and 9 degrees. At night the minimums dropped to minus 2 in Teruel and Soria and 0 degrees in Ávila and Segovia. 

Starting Friday, snow continues to fall in the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees, and the Central and Iberian systems with significant accumulations, in addition to continued rain in eastern Cantabria and the Canary Islands, more likely in Tenerife and La Palma 

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