Snow in Spain

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  • Satellite image of Spain this morning. The snow over the Cordillera Cantabrica mountains is visible in the red circle where the cloud has cleared away. (MeteoGroup)

    Map showing predicted snow depth in cm at midday this Monday. (ECMWF weather model)

    Map showing maximum daytime temperature today (numbers) with shading according to how far below average temperatures are. (ECMWF weather model)

  • Snow in Spain
    16.11.2013 14:58

    After seeing unseasonably warm temperatures for the past few weeks, winter has finally come to Spain. Cold air swept in from the north on Friday, with flurries of snow overnight, mainly in areas with higher altitude.

    The ski resorts in the Pyrenees, Valencia, Sierra de la Demanda and Sierra de Guadarrama all benefited from the snowfall, and the Cordillera Cantabrica mountains saw over 10cm of snow last night.

    Temperatures across Spain plummeted by around 10 degrees to near freezing point in most places, with lower temperatures recorded at high altitude sites. This is compared to average night time lows of 5-8 Celsius in northern Spain at this time of year.

    The snow is expected to continue to fall in flurries throughout the weekend and next week over the mountains of northern Spain, with rain over lower altitude areas. It will be particularly heavy for the Pyrenees, where there may be 50cm of snow by the end of the week. The snow is set to spread south and fall over the Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Segura mountain ranges on Monday and Tuesday, with daytime maxima in the mountains of around 5 Celsius, 5-10 degrees below average.

    This cold snap looks set to last all week, before warm air pushes into Spain from the west over the weekend, bringing temperatures back to a toasty 20 Celsius on the south coast. This will bring the snow line up, but snow higher up in the mountains looks set to remain settled until the melt in Spring.

    At the same time, parts of Catalonia and the Balearics are expected to experience strong winds, perhaps gusting to 50mph or more at the start of next week as a low pressure system creeps in from the south and deepens over the western Mediterranean.

    However, it isn’t all about cold, snow and strong winds. The south-west of Spain will actually have rather pleasant weather for the next week despite having below average temperatures. Highs of a reasonably mild 14 to 17 Celsius are expected, and it will be generally sunny for the next week with only small amounts of cloud and light winds.

    By: Ben Windsor