A MASS of Arctic air is set to bring night temperatures down to as low as -10ºC across the country between today (Wednesday) and Saturday at least, according to the State meteorological agency, AEMET. Even on the...
Snow hinders traffic in Mallorca, Basque Country and La Rioja
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 inland.
Last night (Thursday) was the coldest so far this winter, with the record low for Spain being registered in Molina de Aragón (Guadalajara province, Castilla-La Mancha) at -12ºC.
The Aran Valley in the Pyrénées, part of the Catalunya province of Lleida, registered -10ºC in the early hours of Friday.
On the east and south coasts, traditionally the mainland areas with the mildest winters, late-night temperatures hovered around 8ºC to 10ºC, but the coldest part of the day this week has been at around 07.00 or 08.00 – just as most commuters are heading for, or getting up for work – when the mercury has been falling to between 3ºC and 5ºC.
Traffic authorities in Mallorca have warned drivers to put their snow chains on if they plan to travel along the Ma-10 in the Sierra Tramontana mountain range, since the 15-kilometre stretch between Mirador de Ses Barques and Sa Calobra is coated in a thick blanket of white.
Snow is expected across the Balearic Islands over the next few days at altitudes of above 300 metres.
Back on the mainland, the High Ebro basin is on alert for snowfall at altitudes of more than 500 metres above sea level, whilst in the north-west of the country, the white stuff is forecast everywhere at 700 metres high or more.
In the Pyrénéen areas, snow could even fall at sea level – in fact, in regions bordering the Pyrénées, roads have already ground to a halt.
Although no highways in Spain are actually closed as yet, snow-ploughs are out in force and long delays have been reported in the Basque Country, particularly in Herrera in the province of Álava – the capital of which is Vitoria-Gasteiz – and in La Rioja near the towns and villages of La Pradilla, La Rasa, Montenegro, Sancho Leza, Vallaroso and Peña Hincada.
Stretches of inland roads not covered in snow may well be icy, especially in mountainous areas.
Snow was also forecast last night in Cantabria and Asturias along the far northern coast.
At present, 31 provinces in 14 out of Spain's 17 regions are on yellow or orange alert for low temperatures.
The freezing climate is expected to start to let up by around Saturday or Sunday, although little difference will be seen on the Mediterranean and south coast, where lows of between 2ºC and 5ºC will be replaced with figures of around 6ºC or 7ºC at the most.
Snow is rare in these areas, and does not normally settle, and current daytime temperatures hover around 11ºC to 12ºC, which are forecast to rise again to about 15ºC or 16ºC by the weekend.
This said, two years ago – on January 19, 2017 – a thick covering of snow on the beaches in Dénia and Jávea (northern Alicante province) hit international headlines, with photographs of residents building snowmen on the shores going viral.
Such a phenomenon had not been seen before in living memory.
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