Snow always arouses a lot of interest among Mallorcans, as it is not a common occurrence on the island, and even less so at sea level. However, on occasions it has done so, giving rise to historic snowfalls that have gone down in history, such as those that took place in 1956 and 2012. The snowfall of the last few days in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range cannot be described as historic, according to the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), but it is important. The snow is already over a metre high in some areas of the Serra de Tramuntana, although the most widespread measure is around 40 centimetres.
One year that remains in the Mallorcan imagination was 1953, when there was a historic snowfall that lasted for weeks. Lluc was isolated for fifteen days and -13.5ºC was reached. The mercury was below zero for days, roads were cut off, families were cut off, a totally unusual occurrence on the island. However, the biggest snowfall the island has experienced in the last century was undoubtedly in 1956. Known as the Year of Snow, the island was under a blanket of white for almost a month. Mallorca experienced a small ice age that affected the whole of Europe.
In that historic year it snowed in all the municipalities of the island, with extreme temperatures that reached as low as 13.5 degrees below zero in Lluc and layers of snow of more than sixty centimetres. In addition to its intensity, it was also characterised by its duration: Mallorca was snowed in for 17 days, from the 3rd of February to the 20th. According to historical records, it is clear that between the 16th and 18th centuries Mallorca experienced a small ice age.
More recent is the snowfall of 2012, when many of the villages in the Serra were cut off and it even snowed at sea level in Palma and Calvià. Many people still have photographs of the Cathedral of Mallorca and Playa de Palma covered in white. Experts point out that it is the second heaviest snowfall in the last fifty years. Another notable snowfall in the last twenty years was in 2005, when the snow also reached the beaches.
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