SPANIARDS have been warned to prepare for the Arctic front bringing snow and sub-zero temperatures to much of the country today and tomorrow.
The worst of the weather is forecast for Friday and Saturday, when snow will fall on the Iberian and Central mountain ranges after affecting northern Spain earlier in the week.
AEMET also warned of snowfall at altitudes above 900 meters in the Balearic Islands, including Mallorca.
The frosty temperatures are likely to extend into most of next week and be intensified by strong winds.
The sharp drop has been attributed to the ‘very cold sea air mass blowing in from the Arctic’.
“With the exception of the southwest and coastal areas, lows will fall dramatically and remain below 0ºC,” said AEMET, which added that it was ‘very likely’ that temperatures will drop below -10ºC in mountainous regions.
Cold air will extend across the peninsula and the Balearic Islands from today, causing temperatures to fall.
An orange warning has been issued to the northern regions of Cantabria, Navarre, Asturias and the Basque provinces of Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, where between 12 and 20 centimeters of snowfall are expected.
Burgos, León and Palencia are also preparing for light snowfall. Overnight temperatures in Spain’s highlands will fall below -5ºC, with highs of 7ºC.
Most of Spain – including Aragón, Madrid, much of Catalonia, La Rioja and parts of Galicia – has also been warned to prepare for a sharp drop in temperatures.
As well as the snow and chilly temperatures, persistent rainfall has been forecast for Andalucia, the upper Ebro river basin, Navarre, the Pyrenees, the exclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla along the northern coast of Africa, and the western Canary Islands.
The rain will then reach the northeast of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
Spain’s civil protection agency has the following recommendations:
- Protect yourself against extreme weather. Special attention should be given to seniors, children, pregnant women and anyone who is unwell.
- If you are going to travel, take care with icy patches and bring along emergency equipment. Before you leave, check the weather and road conditions, and check your vehicle thoroughly (antifreeze, brakes, full gas tank), and be sure to follow traffic recommendations. Take warm clothes with you and a cellphone with a replacement battery and/or its charger.
- If you get trapped in the snow, stay in the car with the heating on. Air out the car every once in a while and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked. Call for help and wait for it to arrive.