The port of Pajares, in the Asturias on Sunday. EFE | Paco Paredes
The coldest snap of winter arrives in Spain

The coldest snap of winter arrives in Spain


This Monday and Tuesday the temperatures will drop between five and ten degrees below normal, and a red warning due to heavy snowfall has been activated in the Balearic Islands



Monday, 27 February 2023, 14:06


These last two days of the month of February, and possibly also on 1 March, the beginning of the meteorological spring, will be the coldest days of the year (and also of the entire winter) in Spain with minimum and maximum temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees below normal for the time of the year.

At the high mountain levels of the Pyrenees (above two thousand metres), the thermometer will plummet to -19ºC while in populated areas it will reach -7ºC, according to the forecasts from the state meteorological agency for the start of the week.

Aemet has confirmed to this newspaper that February 27 and 28 «may be the coldest winter days in Spain as a whole» with an average temperature forecast that will oscillate between 1 and 2 degrees, when the average, for 1991-2020, is between 8 and 9C.

The notable drop in temperatures will be accompanied by snowfall at sea level, in points of the eastern Cantabrian Sea and the Catalan coast, and especially notable in the Balearic Islands. In the north of Mallorca, a red weath warning has been activated for accumulations of more than 40 centimetres in 24 hours in the Sierra de Tramontana from an altitude of 400 metres.

The very cold weather will continue throughout the week across most of the mainland with intense frosts in which it will drop below 5 degrees below zero both on Tuesday and Wednesday in large swathes of inland areas, and even below 10 degrees in mountain areas.

Although the daytime temperatures will begin to rise from Wednesday, the frosts will continue throughout a good part of the week, but be less intense in the second half «and with normal temperatures returning for the weekend,» according to Aemet.

Arctic origin

The spectacular drop in the mercury is the product of a very cold air mass, of Arctic origin, which will begin to withdraw as of Wednesday, and with it a gradual recovery of temperatures will take place, although at least until Friday they will continue to be below the usual values for the time of the year.

At this start of the week, a general drop in daytime temperatures is expected. In large areas of the northern half of the mainland, temperatures will not exceed 5ºC. The overnight temperatures will fall today and tomorrow, with frosts extending to practically the entire mainland, except for coastal areas and the southwest.

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Minimum temperatures will remain below -5 ºC in large areas of the interior of the country and in the northern half, except for the Ebro valley, and -10 ºC in the Pyrenees and areas of the Iberian system.

The wind will be very intense in the northeast quadrant of the mainland and the Balearic Islands, where there will be very strong gusts, which will cause an additional drop in the feeling of cold. The wind will gradually lose intensity as of Tuesday, except in the Balearic Islands and northeastern Catalonia, where due to the intensification of the storm recently named by Aemet, squall Juliette, the storm will intensify and there will be heavy rainfall and hail at low levels, and snowfall in the mountains.

The state of the sea will also worsen in the western Mediterranean, with 3-5 metres of significant wave height around Girona and the Balearic Islands.

The thermal drop will bring with it a collapse of the snow levels in the northeast of the mainland, which will affect almost the entire country from this Monday, causing practically all the precipitation that falls to be in the form of snow. The snowfall will accumulate 2-5 centimetres in the Cantabrian area, the Pyrenees, eastern Catalonia and the surroundings of the Central and Iberian systems. The heaviest snowfall is expected in Mallorca.

The cold snap and the effects of storm Juliette will not affect the Canary Islands, where the maximum temperature will be around 22-24 degrees and the minimum will range between 16 and 18C.


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