Wintry weather in Spain for the first time this year

by Lorraine Williamson
wintry weather

MADRID – An Atlantic front will bring much-needed rain, snow and cold in Spain in the coming days. It is the first time that large parts of the country will have to deal with wintry, frosty weather. 

Winter cold will play the main role this weekend with frost in much of central and northern Spain. In the Mediterranean, the wind will be especially strong with wind gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour. 

This week’s weather is “typically autumnal,” said Rubén del Campo, spokesman for the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet). In the coming days, accumulations of rain could even exceed 50 and even 100 litres per square metre, he warns. The snow line will drop to 1.00 metres in the mountains of the centre and north of the peninsula. On many inland mountain peaks, such as here in the Sierra Nevada, the first real snow of the year has fallen. 

Rain throughout Spain and a chance of strong winds 

The good news for nature, crops and water reserves is that almost all of Spain will be affected by rain. The water reservoirs in Spain are on average filled at only 32.55% of their capacity according to, so there is room for improvement. The regions that can count on rain the most until the middle of next week are Galicia and the Cantabrian communities, although the Atlantic storm will affect all of Spain. 

More than 50 litres/m2 will accumulate in mountainous areas in the centre, in points in the south and in the centre of Andalucia, and perhaps also in the north of Majorca. 

New rain front on Thursday 

This Thursday, a new rain front will arrive that will cross the peninsula from northwest to southeast. Most precipitation will be recorded in Galicia, northern Extremadura, southwestern Castilla y León, the eastern Cantabrian Sea and the Pyrenees. 

This front will not yet reach the Mediterranean or the Balearic Islands on Thursday, but you can count on strong winds and high waves here. In the Alboran Sea between Andalucia and Morocco, they are expected to be up to 3 metres high. 

High waves 

Aemet also issues an orange warning due to a sea storm on the northern coasts. Code orange has been activated in Galicia, with waves hitting, so Aemet has activated the orange alert in Galicia, up to 7 metres high, and in the Bay of Biscay, where the waves will reach 3 or 5 metres. 

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As far as temperatures are concerned, it will be another relatively “warm” day in the regions of Murcia, Alicante or Málaga with maximums of up to 25 degrees. This maximum temperature will also be approached in Valencia, Castellón or Almería. 

Wintry weather at the weekend 

On weekends, however, the situation changes due to the passage of a trough or “cold air tongue”. The wind will turn to the northwest, so be colder. As a result, temperatures will drop considerably to normal or even slightly cooler values ​​than normal for the time of year. Especially inland, where night frost will occur for the first time. The rain, on the other hand, takes a break. 

Mainly rain in the north on Friday 

On Friday it will rain mainly in Galicia and the Cantabrian communities as well as in some parts of the interior of the peninsula. On Saturday they will be able to reach the northeast of Catalonia and points of Castilla y León. In the rest of the peninsula, there are clouds but no rain. There will be some storms in the Balearic Islands. 

Lower snow line 

Most significant is the fall in the snow line on Friday to 1,000 meters in the mountains of the centre and north of the peninsula. Although on Saturday it rises again to 1,600 to 2,000 meters. Meteorologists expect frost in mountain areas, wells on the high plateau and the centre and north of the country. Specifically, on Saturday in Cuenca, Ávila, Burgos, Soria or Teruel, the mercury may fall below zero and may not exceed 10ºC in terms of maximum temperature. The frost will disappear on Sunday, which will then be limited to very high mountain areas. 

On Sunday, the showers will hit the northern third of Castilla y León and Extremadura and then spread to the east in a weaker fashion. They do not reach the Mediterranean coast. 

Trade winds Canary Islands 

Aemet’s spokesman Del Campo expects strong trade winds for the Canary Islands on Friday and rain or drizzle in the north of the mountainous islands and perhaps also at points in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. 

Rain again next week 

As for next week, the Aemet spokesperson hopes that frontal systems will continue to arrive that will irrigate most of Spain, especially the western third of the peninsula and that temperatures will register fluctuations and due to the continued rolling of the wind from the southwest to the northwest. Temperatures generally remain slightly above normal for the season, except in the northwest quadrant, the meteorologist expects. 

(the photo is a view from the webcams in the Sierra Nevada on Friday morning) 

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