THE days may be getting longer and the air is heavy with the scent of blossom, but don’t be tempted to put away your winter coat just yet.

Spain’s meteorological agency has warned that a cold snap will arrive towards the end of the week bringing snow to much of the north and centre of the peninsula just as spring officially starts on March 20.

The cold snap coincides with a bank holiday weekend observed in some regions of Spain to mark San Jose or Father’s Day.

A mass of cold air is set to sweep in from central Europe on Thursday coinciding with a low pressure area moving in a southwesterly direction sending the mercury plummeting by at least 10ºC and to below freezing in mountain areas.

Snow is predicted for the Pyrenees and Cantabrian mountains while the east coast from Catalonia to Valencia region and the Balearic are expected to see heavier than usual rainfall.

Even in the south of Spain which has enjoyed balmy temperatures of up to 26C, the weather will take a sudden turn with some areas of Malaga province predicted to record sub-zero temperatures.

“Temperatures will drop below -2º in the southern plateau, below -5º in the northern plateau and central high plains, and below -10º in mountain areas,” said Rubén Del Campo from Aemet.

Temperatures are expected to rise again from Sunday.

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