MADRID – The Spanish weather service Aemet warns with code yellow and orange for heavy rainfall and strong wind gusts in connection with the arrival of storm Babet. This is expected to reach the northwest of the country on Tuesday.
According to meteorologists, the storm, currently still several hundred kilometres away from the cities of Vigo and La Coruña, is one of the most striking cyclones in the world on satellite images and originates from the Caribbean.
The storm originated in Florida and is currently moving across the Atlantic Ocean. According to European weather models, wind gusts of up to 125 km/h may occur. Wind intensity will generally decrease as the storm approaches the Spanish coast. But this will increase again when interacting with the mountainous terrain of the Cantabrian mountain range.
Orange and yellow warnings
A total of nine autonomous communities in Spain are warned about the weather with yellow and orange warnings. In the Picos de Europa and the Liébana region, orange alerts have been activated. This indicates a “significant risk” when carrying out daily activities. Wind gusts of slightly above 120 km/h are expected here. Yellow warnings, indicating a lower but not negligible risk, have been issued for much of the western peninsula. Winds here where wind gusts of up to 70 km/h are expected.
In addition to the strong winds, there will also be significant rainfall, especially in Galicia and in the western parts of the provinces of León and Zamora. More than 60 l/m2 could fall here. Most rain will fall in the western half of the peninsula. According to weather experts, it is likely that the 100 l/m2 limit will be exceeded during the week in the following areas;
- Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia
- Sierra Morena (Andalucia and Castilla La Mancha)
- Sistema Central north of Madrid
- Cantabrian Mountains
- Montes de León
Similar accumulations could also be recorded in the low areas and in the provincial capitals of Galicia, Castilla y León, Extremadura and Andalucia.
Sea conditions will also be significant along the coasts of La Coruña and Pontevedra, with waves reaching up to 6 metres. Despite the significant impact expected, the storm has not yet received the first name on the prepared list for the 2023-2024 storm season. The British meteorological service MettOffice has named the storm Babet.
Nuestros colegas de @metoffice han nombrado a la borrasca Babet. Dejará lluvias intensas en el Reino Unido.
Previamente, mañana martes, pasará cerca de la Península Ibérica, provocando vientos fuertes y lluvias en la mitad occidental.
— AEMET (@AEMET_Esp) October 16, 2023
The drop in temperatures will not be too drastic until Wednesday. The showers will come with air masses of subtropical origin with mild temperatures and high humidity. The mercury will remain above average for this time of year in much of Spain. And highs are still between 25 and 30ºC along the Mediterranean coasts and in the Canary Islands.
From Wednesday afternoon, a new very active cold front is likely to enter the northwest of the peninsula. This will move across the country from west to east. Temperatures will then drop across the country and on the Spanish plateau maximum temperatures will fluctuate between 18 and 24ºC and in the eastern third of the peninsula they will be higher to around 25ºC, according to Ruben del Campo, Aemet spokesperson.
Because there is still some time to go before the storm reaches Spain, the weather models are not yet clear about its exact path or intensity. However, it is certain that a large part of the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands will experience a heavy rain and wind storm this Thursday, but this could strengthen or weaken depending on local conditions. We advise everyone to closely monitor weather forecasts and follow the instructions of local authorities.