MADRID – Snowstorm Filomena will certainly provide special winter scenes in Spain until Thursday. From Monday, the temperature will drop and cold records may again be broken in the Spanish interior due to a new cold wave.
Not only in the mountains, but also in the inhabited areas of Spain, Filomena brings extreme cold. Early Monday morning, three places in the province of Soria registered minus 18 degrees. Until Friday, the cold front will continue in almost the entire interior with temperatures below freezing point. The extreme cold could even penetrate to the coastal areas.
Today in Spain, it is about five degrees colder than usual for this time of the year. In some places it is even six to seven degrees colder than the January average. According to Miguel Viñas of Meteored, Spain is now experiencing a Scandinavian winter with light frost during the day and night temperatures of minus ten to minus fifteen degrees.
Due to heavy snowfall at night and persistent frost during the day, the snow freezes up, which can cause dangerous situations on the road. The cold is mainly concentrated in central Spain and the southern plateau (Meseta Sur). It is also cold in the southwest of the country, but the consequences of Filomena are less extreme there.
Code orange due to cold wave
Code orange was issued for low temperatures for the provinces of Madrid, Lleida, Toledo, Albacete and Guadalajara. In seven other provinces in the region of Andalusia, Aragón, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, both Castillas, Catalonia, Extremadura, Madrid, Murcia, La Rioja and Valencia, code yellow applies on Monday.
Weather normalizes from the weekend
The peak of the cold will occur in the first half of this week with the lowest nighttime temperatures from Sunday to Monday and Monday to Tuesday. The Spanish weather service Aemet expects that the temperature will rise slightly from Wednesday morning, especially the night temperature. On Saturday and Sunday, the temperature will gradually return to normal.
On January 6, a 1920 cold record was broken with the recording of -34.1 degrees by the weather station of Clot de la Llança in the Catalan Pyrenees. A day later, a temperature of -35.6 degrees was even registered in the Picos de Europa (Vega de Liordes).
According to Aemet spokesman Rubén del Campo, Filomena is not the only cause of the extreme cold in Spain. Before this Atlantic storm reached Spain, a cold front was already approaching. In addition, there will be a high-pressure area from the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, resulting in little or no cloudiness. The combination of blue skies, little wind and a lot of snow ensures extremely low temperatures.
This extraordinary development, according to del Campo, is due to climate change. Due to global warming, the air currents in the atmosphere will change, causing extreme weather types to occur more often and both cold and heat waves will occur more often.
According to a survey by the Aemet National Climatic Database, there have been 58 cold spells in Spain in the last 40 years, the last being two years ago. The Canary Islands do not feature in the reckoning because of their geographical location. A cold snap occurs when temperatures have been recorded for at least three consecutive days in a large part of the country that are lower than the five percent lowest daily temperatures in the months of January and February between 1971 and 2000.
The harshest winter in Spain was in 1980-1981 when four cold waves occurred lasting a total of 31 days. In the winter of 1975-1976 there were also four, but together they lasted 22 days. The longest cold wave occurred in December 2001 and lasted for 17 consecutive days.