MADRID (Reuters)-On Friday, most of the Spanish capital Madrid and neighbouring Castilla-La Mancha were on high alert. Meteorologists expect this to be the decades of storm Filomena. Maximum snowfall.
Such incidents are rare in this area and often destroy people’s daily life and mobility, when people return home after the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, due to restrictions on the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s traffic volume is less than usual.
Authorities said that as heavy snow began to rain, as a precaution, Madrid’s large parks, including the Retiro Park next to the famous Prado Museum, will be closed from Friday afternoon.
Since the amount of snowfall in 24 hours can reach 20 cm (nearly 8 inches), the temperature is expected to hover around zero degrees Celsius for most of the day, so the southern part of the Madrid region, including the capital, has the highest level of snowfall alert. This is the first time since the system was created in 2007.
The National Weather Service spokesman Ruben del Campo said that the city may be facing the biggest snowfall so far at least in the 21
He added: “If the forecast we expect is correct, maybe we have to go back to the snowfall in February 1984 or March 1971 to find a similar precedent.”
Spain recorded the lowest temperature ever recorded in the Iberian Peninsula in the northern Pyrenees, -34.1℃. It was Thursday and light snow covered Madrid.
After strong wind and rain hit the Canary Islands, Storm Filomena is advancing in Spain.
In Gran Canaria, a ferry with 59 passengers and 17 crew ran aground on Thursday night due to strong winds entering the port of Agaete.
On Friday, the Coast Guard towed the ferry to the port. The passengers and crew were still on board, unharmed.
(This story corrects the Spanish spelling of Filomena)
Reporting by Emma Pinedo and Cristina Sanchez, editing by Andrei Khalip and Gareth Jones