Misc 09/01/2021

Strongest snowfall in over 60 years in central Spain

In several places in Madrid the snow is already half a meter thick

Jordi Pons / Miquel Bernis
1 min
Puerta de Alcalá, in Madrid, in the current snowfall

BARCELONAThe Filomena storm keeps the centre of the Peninsula on alert, with a snowfall that has not been seen in the heart of Spain for more than 70 years. Until this Saturday morning, up to 60 cm of snow has accumulated in Torrejón de Ardoz, and 50 cm in Getafe and in towns like Villarrubia de Santiago (Toledo).

The collapse in the Spanish capital is total, with many drivers trapped by the heavy snowfall being rescued by the emergency services and the army. It is obligatory to drive with chains through the centre of Madrid, where more than 45 cm are accumulated in the centre of the city.

The storm will continue to rage with intensity throughout Saturday in much of the peninsula and the AEMET maintains red alerts in Castilla-La Mancha (Guadalajara, Cuenca and Madrid) and also in the interior of Valencia, southern Aragon and Tarragona. The snowfall will accumulate throughout the day about 20 cm of new snow which will be added to the current snow thickness.

The most similar precedent of a snowfall of this style would have to be located more than 60 years ago, in a snowfall that in 1963 left between 30 and 35 cm in the city, according to data from the meteorologist José Miguel Viñas. At this point, however, this precedent also seems to have been left behind.

One of the most worrying aspects of the snowfall is the ice and frost that may occur during the next few nights. The accumulated snow will take days to melt, and this will cause a snowfall effect that will accentuate frosts. As the snow freezes it will become much more dangerous to move around the city. The weight of the snow can also cause problems, such as falling branches.