Many parts of Spain relied upon by Britons for mild winter weather are set to be hit by extreme winds and even snow this week.
Storm Gerard hit the Mediterranean country on Monday, with Spain’s weather agency Aemet issuing yellow or amber weather alerts for 40 different provinces, reported the English-language Spanish website SUR. The country has 52 provinces in total.
It will be quickly followed by Storm Fien, said Aemet, bringing snow and ice to multiple provinces.
Places affected include Malaga, Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, all popular travel spots for British holidaymakers year-round.
The heaviest snow and ice is forecast for the northeastern provinces of Huesca and Navarre, but 10 further areas have been warned they could see snow as Storm Gerard pummels Spain, including Barcelona, La Rioja and Girona.
“On Tuesday, an irruption of maritime polar air is expected, which is expected to affect the entire peninsula and the Balearic Islands, driven by strong northwesterly winds,” read a bulletin from Aemet.
“This may give rise to very strong gusts in large areas, with a tendency to subside from Wednesday. A new drop in temperatures will also begin on Tuesday.”
The agency predicts that the cold, stormy weather may continue until Friday (20 January).
Most of today’s amber alerts have been issued for areas along the north and northwestern coast, around A Coruña and Santander.
The northeastern coastal areas of Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa provinces both have a red weather alert until 3pm on Monday due to strong winds and high waves.
Malaga province has a yellow warning for strong winds (up to force eight) and high waves for the next three days, with Granada and Almeria both being given an amber alert for the same reason.
Around Malaga, the Axarquía and Costa del Sol areas have a yellow warning for the duration of Monday.
With strong winds of up to 70km/hour hitting the coast, four-metre high waves are anticipated off the coast near Granada, Andalucia.
The Balearic Islands, Barcelona and Alicante have all been issued weather alerts regarding strong winds and high waves too.
Around 30-40cm of snow is expected to fall in Huesca province, up near the French border, with some 20cm expected in Navarre region, home to Pamplona.