The rain in Spain turns to snow on the Plain

Unseasonably cold weather has hit the Iberian Peninsula with heavy rain and even snow.

Snow plough
Temperatures were low enough to produce significant snowfall, with the northern Asturias province worst hit [AFP]

While the eastern Mediterranean has been enjoying a taste of summer with temperatures approaching 30 Celsius, further west it has been a very different story.

An area of low pressure, that had its origins over North Africa, has moved across the Mediterranean Sea, into the Iberian Peninsula.  

It has brought thick cloud and heavy rain. Combined with cold air from the Alps which has been drawn in from the northeast, temperatures have been dragged down to well below the late April average.

The whole of the peninsula has been affected. Holidaymakers hoping to escape chilly weather in more northern parts of Europe will have been disappointed to find the Algarve of Portugal and the Spanish Costas all experiencing overcast, wet weather with temperatures lower than in their home countries.

In the nation’s capital, Madrid, where temperatures can be expected to reach 20C in late April, the mercury reached just 8C on Sunday after an overnight minimum of 2C, the lowest since 2001.

Even as far north as Barcelona, temperatures have been as much as six to seven degrees below average.

In some areas temperatures were low enough to produce significant snowfall, with the Asturias region in the north being particularly badly affected. A snow depth of 18cm was reported at the ski resort of Navacerrada, in the Sistema Central mountains, northwest of Madrid.

During Monday, 26 provinces were subject to bad weather alerts. Snowploughs were deployed to keep motorways open and the emergency services warned against all unnecessary travel.

It is expected that the precipitation will die out over the next day or two and temperatures will return to normal, and it could turn out to be a warm weekend in southern areas.

Source: Al Jazeera