Spain's Met Office issues first exceptional weather warning of the year ahead of arrival of storm Karlotta

Spain's Met Office issues first exceptional weather warning of the year ahead of arrival of storm Karlotta Image

February 07, 2024

On Thursday, according to state weather agency Aemet, fourteen regions of the Spanish mainland will be under amber or yellow alerts for high wind, heavy downpours or rough seas.

The arrival of Karlotta, a powerful Atlantic storm, will put an end to the stable weather in Spain in recent weeks with hardly any rain and days of spring-like temperatures and the mercury above 20C in many places.

The arrival of Karlotta and its associated fronts to the Spanish mainland have forced the state weather agency (Aemet) to issue the first special warning for adverse phenomena this year. Very strong winds, stormy seas and heavy rain is what this high-impact disturbance is bringing, which will finally leave widespread rainfall in Spain over the next few days, except in the eastern Mediterranean areas. The rain will fall in the Andalucía and Catalonia regions, two of the areas worst hit by the drought. It will be especially heavy on Friday in the southwest quadrant of the mainland.

This adverse weather will begin on the Galician coast late this Wednesday (7 February) and last until Saturday, with special virulence on Thursday, when, according to Aemet, up to fourteen regions will be under amber or yellow alerts for wind, rain or rough seas. They are Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y León, La Rioja and Galicia (amber warnings), and Aragón, Catalonia, Extremadura, Navarre, the Basque Country, Community of Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Andalucía and Murcia (yellow warnings).

Late on Wednesday, the first effects of Karlotta are expected to be felt along the Galician coastline, with very strong gusts of wind, as well as the first rainfall.

On Thursday, 8 February, the rains will extend to the western half of the Spanish mainland and the western Pyrenees, although they are expected to be more intense in Galicia. Regarding the wind, on Thursday the most affected area will be the northwest quadrant of the mainland with particularly strong gusts in the Cantabrian mountain range and in Galicia, where they could exceed 100 km/h, with a strong sea storm on the Galician coast. Very strong gusts are also expected in other mountain systems of the country, such as the Pyrenees, the Iberian system, the Central system and the Betic systems.

On Friday the mainland and the Balearic Islands remain under the influence of storm Karlotta, which will leave widespread rainfall except in the eastern Mediterranean area. Rainfall is expected to be heavy in Andalucía and Galicia, with the possibility of snow in the Pyrenees.

The highest accumulations are expected again in Galicia, but also in the southwest quadrant of the Iberian Peninsula and in the Pyrenees. Precipitation will be weaker and less likely in the Cantabrian area, the extreme north-east and south-east of the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.

The wind in the northwest quadrant of the mainland and in the rest of the mountain systems will gradually lose intensity, although very strong gusts may still occur during the first half of the day, especially in the Cantabrian Mountains and the Pyrenees. On the other hand, the wind will pick up in the south, with very strong westerly gusts likely on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Andalucía, as well as in Ceuta, with the consequent coastal storm in the Gulf of Cadiz, Strait of Gibraltar and Alboran Sea.

On Saturday, 10 February, atmospheric stability will gradually prevail "thus ending the conditions that have given rise to this special warning", Aemet pointed out.


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