Winter storm Juliette is wreaking havoc in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
Storm Juliette

Storm Juliette ‘frozethe thermometers in a large part of Spain at the beginning of this week. On Tuesday, the temperature dropped to -16 degrees in Molina de Aragón (Guadalajara) and there was more than a metre of snow on Mallorca. This resulted in hundreds of incidents. 

The Aemet already warned about this cold episode on Monday evening. At that time, 40 cm of snow was expected in Mallorca. Now that the worst of the storm is over, it appears that storm Juliette had more to offer, mainly in the Balearic Islands but also in the rest of Spain. 

Storm Juliette causes freezing cold and locally up to a metre of snow in Spain 

Few Spanish regions were spared from the consequences of storm Juliette on Tuesday. Snowfall in coastal areas and on the lower mountain passes, temperatures that are an average of 10 degrees below normal, torrential rain, wind gusts that reached hurricane force locally and storms at sea with metres high waves are some of the conditions that characterised Monday and Tuesday. 

Storm heaviest in Mallorca with road subsidence and evacuations 

However, the strongest weather was observed in the Balearic Islands, more precisely in Mallorca. Within 24 hours, as much as a metre of snow fell locally. There was also a fairly strong wind on Tuesday with speeds of up to 117 km per hour. Due to the strong wind, waves of up to eight metres high reached the coast. In addition to wind, hail and heavy rain also ravaged the island. 

The consequences are not bad in Mallorca: Two major streets in Palma de Mallorca have to deal with subsidence. This has caused damage to the pipes and sewers and traffic has to be diverted. A hole of eight metres in diameter and six metres deep has even been created on the street in the Conde de Sallent. Holes have also appeared in other places and the road surface is no longer reliable. Consequently, this will be fixed in the next week. 

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The Mallorca regional council asked the fire brigade (UME) and the Guardia Civil on Tuesday to help evacuate people who were camping in nature. Some people were also helped on the road on Tuesday after their car got stuck due to the snow and the large amount of rain. 

Both aid organisations also had to evacuate people and provide support after a roof collapsed on a sports center in Capdepera. And, again, later when a roof was blown off a gas station causing damage in the ports of Sóller and Pollença. The emergency services of the Balearic Islands have registered 413 incidents in Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza by 6.00 pm Tuesday. 

Hundreds of kilometres of road in Spain affected by rain and snow 

Trials also arose in mainland Spain. In total, more than 600 kilometres of road have been affected. This is mainly in the regions of Asturias, Aragon, Cantabria and Castile and Leon. This varied from driving slowly to requiring snow chains on certain routes. In the mountainous areas of the mentioned regions, roads were closed in some places. Snow has also fallen along the coast, for example in cities such as San Sebastian, in Tarragona and in Barcelona. This much snow has not been seen since 2018. 

Will storm Juliette continue in Spain? 

From Wednesday the sun will shine again in a large part of Spain. Rain is only expected on Menorca and in the far northwest of Spain. On Wednesday, however, there is still a weather alert in a large part of Spain. Code yellow due to cold temperatures and local snow. Code orange applies on Menorca due to high waves. In the middle of Spain, code orange applies due to severe freezing cold in the municipalities of Sanabria, Avila, Segovia, Soria and Cuenca. On Thursday, code yellow applies in a smaller area in the north and centre of Spain due to cold temperatures. 

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