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Heavy rain alert for Malaga and Costa del Sol raised to amber

The forecast indicates that up to 80mm of rainfall could be recorded in the 12 hours from 6pm on Three Kings Day. File photograph.
The forecast indicates that up to 80mm of rainfall could be recorded in the 12 hours from 6pm on Three Kings Day. File photograph. / SUR
  • High winds and waves of three to four metres in coastal areas are also being forecast

Spain's state weather agency, Aemet, has upgraded its weather alert for heavy rain in Malaga and on the Costa del Sol from yellow to amber on Three Kings Day (6 January) through until Friday.

In addition, Aemet now anticipates the arrival of the front earlier than initially believed at 12 noon.

At that time a first, yellow, warning will be activated, given the possibility of 20mm if rain being registered in an hour in the Malaga city, Costa del Sol and the Guadalhorce areas.

Starting at 6pm, an amber alert will be activated with a forecast that up to 80mm of rain could fall in 12 hours. On the same day, there are also two other yellow warnings for wind - with maximum gusts of 70 kilometres per hour – and high waves of between 3 and 4 metres are expected in coastal areas.

As for Thursday, Aemet maintains the amber warning for heavy rains until 6am in the morning, when the alert will be lowered to yellow in the province and will remain until midnight.

Malaga Meteorological Centre director, José María Sánchez-Laulhé, said the mathematical models that point to a collision of air masses have been confirmed, the very cold one that exists right now over the Peninsula, and a warm and humid front will enter through the Gulf of Cádiz.

"This is going to cause abundant rains, which in the Malaga city could reach 100mm and in parts of western regions up to 200 litres," he said.

If these amounts are confirmed, it would mean that Malaga will receive almost a fifth of total annual average rainfall between Wednesday and Friday.

José María Sánchez-Laulhé also pointed out that snow could fall at higher altitudes, but only on Wednesday.