SNOW has blocked several 'B-roads' across the country as Spain shivers in the grip of an Arctic front which has forced temperatures down to low single figures on the Mediterranean and double figures below zero...
Rain and cold snap to follow record high temperatures
A WET start to the weekend is forecast after the last two or three days of warmer-than-usual daytime temperatures across Spain, according to the State meteorological agency, AEMET.
Whilst last week broke records for December highs in various parts of the country, this Thursday (December 13) will see the mercury plummet and the heavens open, although by Sunday, dry weather is set to prevail again and temperatures will rise once more.
Rain and cold as a result of a turbulent front coming from the Atlantic will hit the north-west of Spain first, soaking Galicia, on Wednesday afternoon and gradually spread to the rest of the mainland and Balearic Islands – although the chill will not reach the Mediterranean until late Thursday or Friday, before which thermometers may even rise further.
But the rain is not expected to be torrential, unlike the freak storms along the east coast in November which brought flash floods – only around 0.5 to one centimetre, or barely half an inch at most, is expected.
During the cold snap, however, snowfall is forecast at relatively low altitudes – from 1,000 metres above sea level in the Pyrénées, and from as little as 700 metres elsewhere on the mainland.
Temperatures in the daytime will not rise above 10ºC in the northern half of the country between Wednesday afternoon and Saturday inclusive.
But Spanish residents can afford to be tolerant with a brief cold snap – so far this month, they have seen unusually warm temperatures, at a time of year when, normally, taking one's coat off indoors in a house without heating requires considerable courage.
On Tuesday, December 4, the province of Cuenca and the island of Mallorca registered the highest temperatures for that date since 1955 and 1965 respectively, at 21.5ºC and 21.6ºC.
The following day, the province of Teruel in southern Aragón – normally in minus figures in the daytime by now – was sweltering in 21.1ºC in the city of the same name and 20.3ºC in the village of Calamoch, the highest temperatures since 1986 and 1992 respectively, whilst in the city of Albacete in south-eastern Castilla-La Mancha, the mercury rose to 21.9ºC, the highest for December 5 since the year 1983.
The most notable record broken on Wednesday, December 5 was at Albacete air base, where the daytime high of 21.1ºC was the hottest for that date since the last year of the Spanish Civil War, in 1939.
In Andalucía, the city of Córdoba – one of the hottest in Spain in summer – basked in 23.8ºC on Thursday, December 6, a figure not seen since the year 1959, whilst the Canarian island of Tenerife experienced its hottest night so far this month, with lows of 21ºC, the same as for December 6 in 2009.
For Mallorca, the warmest December day in exactly 40 years was recorded yesterday (Sunday, December 9), with thermometers reaching 23.1ºC.
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