STAFF REPORTER

MADRID
SNOW, wind and rain will be affecting all areas of Spain between today and Wednesday of next week, the National Weather Agency (AEMET) forecast yesterday.

AEMET spokesman, Angel Rivera, said that the weather pattern was “difficult to predict” and would reach its “most critical stages” from Monday onwards. He said the whole of the country would be affected but each region would have varying levels of snow, wind and rain.

After spreading from the Canaries through the south of Spain where rainfall and wind were predicted to be strong in some localised areas, the storm is expected to hit the Mediterranean on Sunday. Snow is predicted above 700 metres on the mainland along with moderate winds.

Rainfall will spread from the south to the north throughout the day and the snow line in northern regions of the country will fall to 500 metres above sea level.

The Balearic Islands is forecast to be affected in the early hours of Monday morning. The squall will bring widespread rainfall in its wake, generally moderate but increasing to strong in localised areas, warned AEMET: The deluge is forecast to be accompanied by strong winds in many areas.

Temperatures will be fluctuating considerably, said Rivera. On Monday, they will be expected to rise somewhat in the south of the country, and the pattern will extend to all other regions on Tuesday. However, it will get colder again on Wednesday bringing with it more snow - on Monday from 700 metres upwards, from 1'000 metres on Tuesday and descending again to 600 metres on Wednesday.

This instability, said Rivera is likely to have particular effect in coastal areas of the Mediterranean and Cantabria, particularly on Tuesday. The risk of strong wind will be especially high in the Balearics, the Canary Islands and Catalonia.

In anticipation of extreme weather conditions, the National Emergency department is warning people to dress warmly, prepare their cars for the cold and to make sure that mobile telephones have a spare battery.

In rain soaked areas, drivers are being advised to lower their speeds and don't stop a vehicle close to large volumes of fast running water. The department recommends keeping to main roads and motorways.

In strong wind, keep shutters and windows closed and clear balconies of items which could be blown off. Keep clear of trees and buildings where there is a danger of falling masonry.

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