Sudden snowfall surprises Spaniards

by Lorraine Williamson
sudden snowfall - Alfonso Tomá Twitter

MADRID – In the middle of Spain, the land of the sun, and in the middle of spring, the population is suddenly shivering with cold. A sudden winter snowfall episode left a thick layer at several points on the Spanish plateau and in the north of the country on Wednesday. 

About 50 kilometres northwest of Madrid, the high city of Navacerrada saw a 36 cm layer of fresh snowfall. This area is located at a height of 1000 to 1900 metres. Consequently, several Spanish media reported this, including El País. Furthermore, in this municipality of around 3,000 inhabitants, there has not been such snow in April for 20 years. 

See also: From summer heat to winter cold within 24 hours 

Closed roads 

The snow line was only 700 metres on Wednesday 20 April in some regions of Spain. Numerous roads had to be closed, including parts of the A6 from Madrid to the northwest of the country. Authorities reported problems on 26 major highways. The Aemet National Weather Service has issued a weather alert not only for Madrid but also for 9 other of the 17 autonomous communities. Among those are Andalucia, Valencia, and Catalonia. 

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Warnings were issued for snow and rain, avalanches and landslides, strong winds, extreme cold, and high waves. The alarm is still valid in a weakened form on Thursday and Friday. 

Spaniards angry about the bad weather 

The Spaniards were surprised and angry about the bad weather. Residents and tourists, for example in Mallorca, had to cancel the hoped-for beach visit until further notice. On the Mediterranean island, where it can often reach 25 and sometimes up to 30 degrees in the second half of April, the mercury will move between 9 and 15 degrees on Thursday with lots of rain. 

Others happy with the snow 

But many children and some adults in the Madrid region rejoiced: Alfonso Tomás posted on Twitter a video of a snowy landscape in the town of La Raya in the northern Spanish region of Asturias, writing: “Winter is back!”. “That’s unusual,” Aemet spokesman Rubén del Campo told “El País”. He posted a photo of the view of the snowy mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama from the Spanish capital. 

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