Sunday 1/16/22
ROAD SAFETY

Snowfall alert in northern Spain: authorities urge to end holidays earlier

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior warns that driving conditions could become very complicated not only on secondary roads, but also on high-capacity roads
22 November 2021, Spain, Madrid: A car covered with snow in the Puerto de Navacerrada after a heavy snowfall. Photo: Rafael Bastante/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.
A car covered with snow in the Puerto de Navacerrada after a heavy snowfall. Photo: Rafael Bastante/dpa.

The weather threatens now the vacations of thousands of Spaniards. Or at least the chance for a smooth, incident-free return.

Since last Friday, thousands of Spanish residents have been enjoying a long holiday weekend, which in some regions lasts until Wednesday.

But the Spanish Traffic Authority (Direccion General de Trafico) has appealed to citizens who are enjoying the long weekend in the northern half of Spain and who have to travel by road, to bring forward their return to their homes and do not wait Wednesday to hit the road.

The reason is the beginning of a new cold air front as of Tuesday, with subsequent precipitations in the form of snow that could make it very difficult to circulate on roads in the northern half of the peninsula on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to a press release issued by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, this could complicate the traffic not only secondary roads, but also in high-capacity roads such as motorways.

According to official estimates, the snow level will drop to 400-800 meters in the north of the country, to 600-900 meters in the central regions and to 1000-1400 meters in the southeast. For this reason, snowfall is anticipated in the mountainous areas of the Cantabrian Mountains, Pyrenees, Iberian System and Central System and also in flat areas of sufficient altitude. There could also be occasional snowfalls on the north coast.

From the early hours of Wednesday 8 December, warnings for snowfall have been activated and will continue for days.

Avoid non-essential trips

Showers are also expected on Wednesday in a large part of the Peninsula, with occasional storms in Galicia, Cantabrian Sea and Western Pyrenees. In a weaker, scattered and occasional way, they will spread to the south and east, more intense in the mountains and the Strait of Gibraltar. It is likely that it will also rain in the Balearic Islands, with the possibility of occasional storms.

In addition to asking those who are on vacation to bring forward the return trip, the authorities also ask the rest of citizens who reside in the northern half of the peninsula to avoid all road trips that are not essential.

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