Spain is preparing for a drastic drop in temperatures after heat records

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MADRID – Spain is enjoying mild to locally high temperatures for the time of year. However, it is on the verge of a significant weather change.

From Sunday evening, this will bring an end to what is called the ‘veranillo de San Martín’, the ‘summer of San Martín’ characterised by very mild late summer weather. In large parts of Spain the mercury does not drop below 20 degrees during the day. Along the Mediterranean coasts it even approaches 30 degrees.

Spanish weather agency Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (Aemet) is warning of a general drop in temperatures across the country. Frost is even expected in the mountain areas of the peninsula.

Unprecedentedly warm November days

Remarkably, November 11 to 14 showed the warmest temperatures for this time of year since records began in 1950. Temperatures of 35°C were recorded in parts of southern Andalucia and the Canary Islands. But this unusually warm period appears to be coming to an end.

Wintery week ahead

Meteorologists are not yet completely sure whether November will end with cold and snow. A high-pressure system may form on the peninsula with stable weather and colder nights with icy fog in the morning. It is also possible that a high-pressure system could form further north, diverting storms to lower latitudes, hitting Spain with precipitation and snow in higher areas. The atmosphere is expected to become more dynamic in the coming days. This will lead to more typical conditions for this time of year.

Influence of the polar ray

The expected drop in temperatures is due to a change in the orientation of the polar jet, as explained by the weather portal Meteored. “The polar jet is a very intense air current at high altitude (9-12 km) that influences the weather on the Earth’s surface, by directing low-pressure areas and high-pressure areas, and warm and cold air currents,” they explain. In recent weeks, Spain has been experiencing warm air currents from the polar jet. However, soon a cold air current, coming from north to south, will affect much of Spain.

Forecasted weather conditions

“There is a guaranteed temperature drop, with high precipitation in the north of the peninsula and snow in the higher areas,” they added. This temperature drop will continue throughout the week. “We must be alert to the possibility of a DANA (Depressión Aislada en Niveles Altos) in the western Mediterranean, near the Balearic Islands and the eastern part of the peninsula,” they warn.

What is a DANA?

A DANA, according to Aemet’s official definition, is “an isolated high-altitude depression that has completely detached itself from the circulation associated with the polar jet, and moves independently of this flow, sometimes even becoming stationary.” It is a kind of air pocket of cold air, surrounded by warmer air, which can move.

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