The forecasts of the intense cold wave that hits Spain, as it happened with the snowfalls of Filomena , are being fulfilled to the letter.
The whole country, except the Canary Islands, has been immersed since Monday in a very adverse episode of extraordinarily low temperatures, the peak of which has been reached around dawn and early in the morning on Tuesday, after suffering “the coldest night in all the country in at least 20 years, since the cold wave of 2001 ”, points out Rubén del Campo, spokesman for the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet).
The lowest temperature of the network of automatic stations of Aemet was measured at nine in the morning in the Teruel town of Bello, where the thermometers have fallen to a sidereal -25.4 ºC, followed by Molina de Aragón (Guadalajara), with -25.2 ºC, and Santa Eulalia del Campo (Teruel), with -23 ºC. Up to eight in provincial capitals have registered temperatures below -10 ºC, with Teruel no less than -21. The rest are Toledo (-13,
In reality, the spokesperson clarifies, it may be the coldest night not only in 20 years, but “in many more decades”, because the data is provisional and must be validated and analyzed in order to determine it more precisely.
In addition, the wave will last until Friday and, although in principle it is believed that the worst day is today and temperatures are expected to gradually rise from now on, there are still many days of extreme temperatures ahead.
“The morning has been very cold, with widespread frosts in practically the entire Peninsula except in coastal areas”, certifies Del Campo, to emphasize that ” a priori , in practically all of the peninsular territory, except in some points of the northern third and the In the south, the minimum temperatures recorded are among the 5% lowest ”of the reference period used, which goes from 1981 to 2010.
The wave, in addition to being intense, is being very extensive. “It is very unusual for such a large territory to have such extraordinarily low temperatures,” emphasizes the meteorologist.
Del Campo highlights the data from the Molina de Aragón station, which dates from 1949, having reached its lowest record since 1963 and the third lowest in its history. Molina de Aragón forms, together with Teruel and the Teruel municipality of Calamocha, the so-called pole of the Spanish cold.
In the cold wave of 2001, Molina reached -23 ºC, two degrees less than now. For its part, Calamocha, with -21.3 ºC, has broken its record of minimum, which was -20 ºC in 2001. “The same happens at the Teruel station, where the record was 19 ºC on the same date ”, Del Campo notes.
Other stations located in the same towns of Calamocha and Teruel have measured lower levels, such as Calamocha-Fuentes Claras, which holds the record for cold in inhabited Spain: -30 ºC on December 17, 1963. But these have not been the only records. The one in Toledo capital has also been pulverized, where until now, the thermometers had not dropped below -9.6 ºC.
In the central area, where temperatures have been very low compared to normal values, the Aemet spokesperson highlights the -7.4 ºC measured in the El Retiro park in Madrid, which had not been seen since 1981. In Barajas it has been recorded its third lowest figure since there is data, in 1945, and the lowest in 58 years.
The 10 records of minimum temperatures at nine in the morning were below 16 degrees below zero, which were reached, in addition to the aforementioned provinces, in Zaragoza, Guadalajara, Ávila and Segovia.
In any case, these are temperatures measured by Aemet’s extensive network of automatic stations. There are many other networks and stations, both for professionals and amateurs, where even lower temperatures are being reached, but these are not data homologated by Aemet, the only institution with jurisdiction over the weather and climate in the country.
Eleven provinces of Castilla-La Mancha (Albacete, Cuenca, Guadalajara and Toledo), Community of Madrid, Castilla y León (Ávila, Burgos, Segovia and Soria) and Aragón (Teruel and Zaragoza) have spent the night and early morning on red alert —The maximum of a scale of three— for temperatures as low as 16 degrees below zero.
It is not unusual to see a warning map with a red for minimum temperatures; the red notices, in Spain, are for heat. In fact, so far they have only been decreed on four previous occasions since, in 2006, the current notice system was launched. Up to 41 of the 50 provinces have had active warnings for cold of different severity until ten in the morning, including the most temperate territories of the country, such as Valencian Community, Barcelona, Seville and Murcia.
Until Friday, the frosts will remain in “practically” the entire Peninsula except in the coastal areas and the Ebro valley where, due to the wind, it will be difficult to get below zero degrees, although they will have a significant thermal sensation of cold.
During the day, the thermometers will hardly be able to go up and will not exceed 5ºC in the two plateaus and in the northeast of the peninsula and even the mountain areas in the south of Aragon and in the northeast of Castile will remain at negative values throughout the day -La Mancha. As if this were not enough, the wind blows intensely in the north third and in the northeast, which multiplies the feeling of cold.
The lash of the cold is being most ferocious where it has snowed most, in the center and on the southern plateau. In contrast, the least affected area is the southwest. As of this Tuesday, the worst is expected to have passed.
“The minimums and maximums will gradually add up from five to 10 degrees, depending on the areas,” says the expert, who concludes that “we are going to go from much colder below normal to slightly colder below normal” .
Heading into the weekend, the thermometers will begin to return to normal winter positions, although the atmosphere will still be somewhat cool.
“On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will have between three and four below the average values, while on Monday and Tuesday this anomaly is up to 10 degrees”, says the spokesperson for Aemet, for whom it is “unusual to see an anomaly cold so marked ”. The frosts will persist until Saturday or Sunday indoors, but already within normal parameters.