Severe weather in Spain leaves significant impact on the Spanish eastern coast

by Lorraine Williamson
snow impact on eastern Spain

PROVínCIA DE TARRAGONA – The first very cold air mass of polar origin or DANA (isolated depression at high levels) of the season in Spain, the impact is already being felt especially in eastern Spain with severe weather including hailstorms, flooding, cold, and even a small tornado. 

Heavy rainfall led to hailstorms and even a small tornado in southern Catalonia and in the Valencia region. In the night from Monday to Tuesday, Elche was one of the epicentres of a storm that has forced a series of interventions by emergency services. No one was injured, but a lot of impact on material damage has been registered in this eastern part of Spain, according to the newspaper La Vanguardia. 

Torrellano and El Altet 

Emergency services were especially active between 3.00 am and 6.00 am. This was when the strongest winds were recorded in the districts of Torrellano and El Altet. Then, around 3.00 am, a small tornado broke a gas station window in El Altet and took some display products. The high winds also caused roof tiles to fall and awnings to break. Due to hail, the N340 at Polígono de Saladas and another street in Torrellano were closed. 

According to Aemet’s data, 58 litres of rain per square meter fell in Torrellano in less than an hour, and a woman was trapped in her vehicle due to rising water. A car was also stuck on the CV-86. In just 25 minutes 46 litres/m2 fell in the Alicante and Elche area this morning. 

Terre de l’Ebre 

In Catalonia, the easterly storm has left records of more than 150 litres in Terres de l’Ebre. In Roquetes (Tarragona), the weather station registered 163 l / m2 after 20 hours. At Mas de Barberans 104.4 l/m2, Aldover, 92.5 and Alcanar, 91. The heavy rain in Alcanar last September caused serious damage that led to the area being declared a catastrophic zone. In this city, and in the centre of Poblenou del Delta (Amposta), the schools closed on Tuesday as a precaution. 

In Catalonia, 112 emergencies have received more than 60 calls related to the storm since Monday afternoon. The Civil Defense Service of the Generalitat explained most of these calls came from the Terres de L’Ebre area. But also some other regions of Tarragona. They reported the C-2 road in Tortosa (Tarragona) was flooded and firefighters had to free people there from their vehicles. 

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According to the region’s fire service, most of the reports involved flooded basements, garages, and lower floors and warehouses, although no one was injured. 

Intense cold with lowest temperature of -12.2º 

The intense cold also played a major role in this first winter storm of the season, especially in mountain areas where the mercury indicated -12.2 and -7 degrees Celsius respectively in Dílar, Sierra Nevada (Granada), and in La Covatilla on Tuesday morning, according to Aemet. 

10 centimetres of snow in the Madrid region 

In the Cantabrian Mountains, Sistema Iberico, and the Pyrenees, the main role of the DANA was played by heavy snowfall; In the Madrid region, 10 centimetres of snow fell in recent hours in El Puerto de Somosierra and in Navacerada. This has led to chaos in local traffic. 

In Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León, the secondary road network has also been hit by snow and has hit traffic on 31 roads and mountain passes over a length of almost 300 kilometres, according to data from the DGT traffic service. 

Snow line 

The snowfall will continue throughout the day in the Cantabrian Mountains, the Iberian System and the Pyrenees. And also, although weaker, in the flat parts of the plateau, where it already started snowing on Monday, in the provinces of Salamanca, Ávila, Soria, Guadalajara, Cuenca, Teruel, Segovia and Zaragoza, from an altitude between 800 and 1,500 metres. The snow line in the Cantabrian Mountains and the Pyrenees is expected to drop to 1000 meters from tomorrow. In eastern Spain, however, it can snow from 700 metres above sea level. 

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