May starts cold in Spain, but temperatures will increase by the weekend

by Lorraine Williamson

Temperatures will remain low in Spain for the time of year until Friday. In large parts of the interior it is between 5 and 10ºC colder than normal. But after that, the heat comes back!

Cities such as Burgos, Vitoria, Teruel and León may still have to deal with frost these days. On Friday, the temperature will rise again and the heat will return. Over the weekend, temperatures in the east and south of the peninsula could exceed 32ºC.

Rain and snow on Wednesday

On the other hand, Del Campo of AEMET, the Spanish weather service, warns that it could rain hard in large parts of the country on Wednesday. The heaviest showers will fall in the Strait of Gibraltar, in the central interior of Andalucia, in the Bay of Biscay and in the north of Catalonia. There is a chance of heavy showers locally. In the Balearic Islands and on the southeast coast, the chance of rain is the lowest.

In the mountains, it is already snowing at low altitudes, at 900 metre (m) in the northwest and from 1,000 to 1,500 m in the rest of the mountain areas. In the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains, five centimetres of new snow could accumulate in just 24 hours.

In general, maximum temperatures will not reach 18ºC in much of the Spanish mainland, except in the eastern and southern thirds. For example, in cities like Ávila in León it will barely reach 12ºC. On the other hand, in Castellón and Alicante it could reach 24ºC.

Rising temperatures from Thursday

Thursday will be quite cold for the time of year, Aemet predicts. With light frost in mountain areas. It could also freeze in areas of the northern plateau, in Paramos of the centre and in the Alto Ebro. And in Burgos, Vitoria, Teruel or León or the areas around these cities.

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Del Campo explains that it is not “uncommon” for it to freeze in these cities in May. On average, it freezes every two or three years in Vitoria or León and every year in Burgos or Teruel. In addition, it will still snow at low altitudes this season, from about 1,000 m in the north, although the altitude in the Pyrenees will rise to 1,400 m during the day. Weather service Meteored even thinks it could snow at 900 metres in the northwest of the peninsula.

Daytime temperatures are between 5 and 10ºC in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. On the Mediterranean coast in the east and in Bilbao and Zaragoza, the temperature will be around 25ºC. At the same time, precipitation will decrease, although it will continue to rain in the northwest of the peninsula, in the Cantabrian region, the Pyrenees and northern Catalonia. In the rest of the country, the weather is more stable.

Fridays and the weekend

Temperatures will rise during the day and at night on Friday. The increase continues over the weekend. Although Friday will still be a cold day with some frost in the mountain areas, temperatures will normalise in the following days. It could even get hot in the eastern third of the country.

Del Campo indicates that maximum temperatures over the weekend could be between 5 and 10ºC above normal in the eastern third of the country. From Friday, temperatures will exceed 20ºC almost everywhere. In large areas in the east and south of the country, the heat is back, with temperatures above 25ºC. It is even possible that on Saturday and Sunday it will exceed 30 or 32ºC in the interior of the Valencian Community, the region of Murcia and Andalucia. The heat is also returning to the Canary Islands. By the end of the week, temperatures in the south of Gran Canaria could exceed 30ºC.

April was dry and slightly warmer than average

In general, Del Campo summarises that April has been dry in Spain as a whole. He is still awaiting the counting of the precipitation data for April 29 and 30. But the precipitation until April 28 was less than half of the normal value for this month. While waiting for the final data, he says April 2024 is likely to be the driest month of the year. The temperature was 1ºC higher than average.

Also read: 8.4 million road trips expected over the May 1st holiday weekend

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