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Biting winds or beach weather? What to expect from a Spanish winter, in figures
25 January 2021 @ 02:48

YOU'VE read about Spain's record rainfall, wind speed, wave height, coldest and hottest temperatures (if you haven't, check out the fascinating set of numbers here – and keep a note of them as conversation-starters for later), but what is a 'normal' winter like in the westernmost Mediterranean country, and how much does it differ depending upon where you are?

Of course it snows in Spain - Granada city, home of the Alhambra Palace (pictured here) is on the edge of the Sierra Nevada, one of the country's best-loved ski resorts (photo: @Spain on Twitter)

Talk to anyone in northern Europe who has only seen Spain during summer beach holidays and you'll find yourself explaining over and over again how, yes, we do have snow, hence our multiple ski resorts; yes, it does get cold in winter and, no, of course we haven't got a tan, because it's January, for goodness' sakes. But do Spanish residents spend the winter wishing they were in Scotland because it's warmer, or are gloves and woolly scarves really redundant south of the Pyrénées?


Research into four decades of temperatures in a 'normal' Spanish winter

Thankfully, the recent freezing snap brought by 'Storm' Filomena - when thick snow blocked roads and shut schools in Madrid for weeks and parts of the north registered temperatures below -30ºC in the early hours - has now passed, and although other weather fronts significant enough to be given human names have been queuing up to hit us, the Arctic climate of early January seems to have left us in peace for now. For some of us in Spain, that means a light-ish coat and a thin-ish top are enough for braving the outside world, whilst for others of us, it means step past your front door without your thermals at your peril.

To find out where on the scale we are based upon where we live, research has just been compiled by the State meteorological agency, AEMET.



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