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...
First day of winter: Warm and sunny Christmas followed by wet months
THIS winter could be wetter than usual in Spain, partly due to the El Niño phenomenon expected to affect the entire planet up to February, according to the State meteorological agency, AEMET.
Tonight (Friday, December 21) saw the winter solstice arrive at exactly 23.23 mainland Spain time, marking the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the official end of an unusually warm and humid autumn.
Between now and the first day of spring, which starts at midnight on March 20, the likelihood of an El Niño episode is between 75% and 80% until February and about 60% from February to April, although it is not expected to be particularly intense, AEMET reveals.
Rain is predicted to be more frequent and intense this winter across Spain, although as yet no severe cold snaps are thought to be on the cards.
The very first few days of winter 2018-2019 are likely to be dry, however, with bright sunshine, pleasant daytime temperatures – higher than usual for the time of year - and morning mist, which could extend into persistent fog in inland areas, especially near rivers and in the central plains.
Sleet or hail may strike the northern part of the plains, and overnight frosts are expected everywhere except near the coasts as night temperatures drop to freezing or slightly below in these areas.
A bright Christmas, rather than a white Christmas, is forecast throughout the country, meaning driving conditions should not be adverse.
This said, around 18.3 million cars will be on the roads between now and the end of the first of the Christmas weeks on Friday, December 28, which could bring gridlocks on highways close to large cities, coasts and airports in particular.
Airport passenger traffic is also at an all-time high with considerably longer baggage-drop, check-in and security queues than usual, meaning these two factors combined could create delays for anyone going away for the festive season.
Travellers are advised to give themselves plenty of extra time to reach their destinations.
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