Hortense, that on Thursday afternoon already began to affect Galicia and the surroundings of the Cantabrian mountain range, hitting the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands this Friday with all its intensity, where it is causing strong winds with gusts even hurricanes, an important maritime storm and rains in the central and northern half of the peninsula, accompanied in many cases by storms and hail. Is about a very unusual phenomenon in the middle of January in Spain, explains the spokesman for the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), Rubén del Campo, who details that “at most” an average day or two occurs on the Cantabrian coast and in the Mediterranean environment, while in areas of the interior and points of the northern plateau “once every 10 or 20 years”. However, up to eleven o’clock on Friday morning, more than 3,000 lightning strikes had been recorded in the Peninsula. All Spain except the Canary Islands is on alert, with Andalusia, Aragon, the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, the two Castiles, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia, the Basque Country, La Rioja and the Valencian Community under orange warning ―the second of a scale of three, which implies a significant risk for the outdoor activities – by winds of up to 110 kilometers per hour and waves of up to seven and eight meters on the Atlantic and Cantabrian coast and from four to five on the Mediterranean coast. Asturias, Navarra and Ceuta and Melilla have yellow warning, the first level of the Meteoalerta system.
As you pass through Galicia, Hortense has caused 200 incidents without injuries, the majority in Pontevedra and due to falling trees, while the snow has forced to prohibit the transit of trucks and articulated vehicles in Alto do Poio. Up to 413 departures have been made by firefighters in Madrid, none of them serious, while a woman has been rescued on the Diagonal in Barcelona from her car, who had one of the three palm trees fallen on top that the wind has knocked down in the Catalan capital. She has been unharmed. In the Balearic Islands, there have been 238 incidents and 30 cuts in the Endesa network, which have suffered 30,000 customers. The wind has knocked down a high voltage tower next to the VP-3014, between Piñel de Arriba and Piñel de Abajo, in Valladolid. In Jijona (Alicante), part of a roof of a nougat factory has fallen on a school without causing personal injury. In Murcia, 427 calls about 209 incidents have been answered, including a fire in the Carrascoy mountain range and the cut off of rail traffic between Alhama de Murcia and Totana. Zaragoza firefighters have made 16 related outings, 33 in Castellón and Badajoz have suffered damage, the most important being the fall of solar panels.
The most intense showers have been registered in the northern third of the peninsula and have reached very strong intensity, such as nine liters per square meter in 10 minutes from Tona (Barcelona) or seven in 10 minutes from Isaba (Navarra). But the protagonist of Friday has been the wind that has blown “with great force” and has left during the early morning “numerous hurricane gusts”, that is, of more than 120 kilometers per hour. The records of high points stand out, such as a streak of 179 in Panticosa-Petrosos (Huesca), 156 in Valdezcaray (La Rioja), 144 in the Sierra de Alfabia (Mallorca) and 127 in Puerto Alto del León (Madrid ), but also those in flat areas of the center and the northern half, such as 122 in Zaragoza and 123 in Andorra (Teruel).
Throughout the afternoon, Del Campo advances, very intense gusts of wind can still be registered in the eastern half and in the Balearic Islands, with 90 to 100 kilometers per hour. Instead, the rainfall will cease until the arrival of Ignacio, the “next wagon of a squall carousel” that began with Gaetan. Ignacio, which has been named this Friday by the Aemet when its winds reach the orange warning threshold, will appear at the end of the day and, although it is not expected to be as powerful as Hortense, will also leave strong winds the Saturday in large areas of the north, center and west of the Peninsula and in the Balearic Islands, where 80/100 kilometers per hour will once again be exceeded. The wind will be associated with a maritime storm, with waves of four to five meters in the Galician Atlantic and the Cantabrian Sea, and three to four in the mainland Mediterranean. In the Balearic Islands they can even rise up to seven meters.
Ignacio It will also leave rains from west to east, although large amounts are not expected, except in southern Galicia, where they may be strong or persistent. It will also rain with some abundance in the west of the Cantabrian mountain range and in points of the Pyrenees. The snow level will be at 800 / 1,000 meters in the north, although it will rise to 1,800-2,000 meters at noon to fall at the last minute to 1,500 meters. “Big changes in temperatures are not expected, if anything they will drop in the eastern half of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands and rise in the northwest. There will be frosts in mountain areas ”, adds Del Campo.
He Sunday there will be a rise in temperatures, especially in the center and southern half. The ascent will be very marked in the lows, with between four and six degrees more. In the following days, this trend will spread to the rest of the country. This day will finish passing the front associated with Ignacio in the early hours of the morning but, without a minute’s rest, in the afternoon a new front will arrive associated with a new storm. Thus, there may still be scattered rains in the morning in the Balearic Islands, while in the Peninsula, until the new front enters, there will be cloudy skies with “four drops”, except in Galicia, the Cantabrian and in mountain areas, where they can be somewhat more intense rains. In addition, the wind will continue to blow strongly in the north and east of the peninsula, although they will no longer be as intense gusts as on Saturday and it will diminish throughout the day.
This frontal system will cross the Peninsula on Monday and will leave rains in its wake on Monday, although in general they will be weak except in the mountains. The elevation will be 1,200 meters in the north, but 600/800 in the Pyrenees. Temperatures will rise in the southern half and fall somewhat in the northern half. The thermometers will reach quite high values in the south of the Mediterranean area, with between 20 and 22 degrees, and the wind will blow from the west, but no longer as much force. Another frontal system will arrive on Tuesday and it will again leave abundant rainfall in Galicia, Cantabrian and mountain areas of the Peninsula and occasional and scattered rains in points of the plateau and in the southeast mountains.
The situation will tend towards stability, with a large part of Spain in an anticyclonic situation except in Galicia and the Cantabrian communities, which will be touched by the extremes of frontal systems. This atmospheric calm will favor the appearance of fog banks and low clouds that can be extensive and that can leave the skies covered in many areas of the interior for much of the day. Temperatures will be “quite high for the time from Wednesday”, Without night frosts and with daytime values that will exceed 20º in a good part of the Mediterranean and the southern third of the peninsula and even 22 or 24º in the Valencian Community and Murcia. On the shores of the Cantabrian Sea, the atmosphere will be very warm, with more than 20º in the central hours of the day. “The values will be between 5 and 10 degrees above normal,” says Del Campo. Is it possible that some heat record is broken in a crazy January in which five cold has already fallen? We will see.