Rain and snow possible as Malaga province braces for a cold snap this weekend

Winter coats could be coming out again. File photograph.
Winter coats could be coming out again. File photograph. / ÑITO SALAS
  • Cold air from northern Europe will bring a maximum temperature of just 13C in Malaga city

The beginning of astronomical spring on 20 March will coincide with the arrival in Malaga of a milder version of the ‘beast from the east’, a very cold front from Siberia that brought severe weather to northern and central Europe in recent weeks.

According to the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), it is very likely that continental air originating from Siberia will arrive in the province over the weekend, bringing with it freezing temperatures and rain. What is more striking is that snow is possible even at altitudes of just 300-400 metres, meaning Ronda, Antequera, Sierra de las Nieves and areas closer to the sea could all see snowfall.

Until Friday, temperatures are expected to stay quite stable, with highs of 19C, lows of 11C and little chance of rain. The forecast then shifts drastically on Saturday and Aemet is predicting highs of just 14C in Malaga city and 7C in Ronda and Antequera - .

Freezing temperatures and snow

The coldest day will be Sunday, when the mercury will only reach 13C in the city and just 6C in some parts of the province. Snow is possible both on Saturday and Sunday nights when temperatures will hover around freezing in Ronda and Antequera. At around 8C, coastal areas will be somewhat warmer at this time.

The probability and amount of rain forecast for the coming days still remains unclear, although all predictions suggest that - if it does occur - it will take the form of snowfall in areas of higher altitude.

The colder weather will remain until Tuesday, when a more normal temperature of 19C will return. The contrast to the previous weekend is striking, given that a land breeze brought temperatures of 26C last Friday, leading many to flock to the beaches to sunbathe and take a dip in the sea.

“We know that a very cold air mass coming from very high altitudes is going to arrive. Some are calling it ‘Little Filomena’ but the actual name given to it will be Lola,” explained José Luis Escudero, a local meteorology expert. If the forecast is correct, temperatures in Malaga city will not rise above 12-13C this weekend.

Escudero agrees that it is not yet clear how much rain there will be, with the European weather model predicting 100 mm of rain in Almeria but only 5-6 mm in Malaga. He explains: “It depends a lot on where the storm is located, if it is in the Gulf of Cadiz then it will rain in the province and there will be snowfall of up to fifteen centimetres at heights of 900-1000 metres”. He also warns that retrograde situations such as this are difficult to model and this creates uncertainty about the amount of rainfall. In this case, the anticyclone is rising towards Iceland, opening the way for the descent of a trough accompanied with a storm.