Home News Storm Karlotta hits Spain and Portugal

Storm Karlotta hits Spain and Portugal

Storm Karlotta strikes Spain and Portugal
Storm Karlotta strikes Spain and Portugal

The arrival of Storm Karlotta has put an end to the fairly stable weather in Spain and Portugal in recent weeks

The arrival of Storm Karlotta and its associated fronts to the Spanish mainland have forced the state weather agency (Aemet) to issue the first special warning for adverse phenomena this year. Very strong winds, stormy seas and heavy rain is what this high-impact disturbance is bringing, which will finally leave widespread rainfall in Spain over the next few days, except in the eastern Mediterranean areas.

The rain fell in the Andalucía and Catalonia regions, two of the areas worst hit by the drought. It is especially heavy today, Friday, February 9, in the southwest quadrant of the mainland.

This adverse weather will begin on the Galician coast late this Wednesday (7 February) and last until Saturday, with special virulence on Thursday, when, according to Aemet, up to fourteen regions will be under amber or yellow alerts for wind, rain or rough seas. They are Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y León, La Rioja and Galicia (amber warnings), and Aragón, Catalonia, Extremadura, Navarre, the Basque Country, Community of Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Andalucía and Murcia (yellow warnings).

Late on Wednesday, the first effects of the storm were felt along the Galician coastline, with very strong gusts of wind, as well as the first rainfall.

On Thursday, 8 February, rains extended to the western half of the Spanish mainland and the western Pyrenees, although they were more intense in Galicia. Regarding the wind, on Thursday the most affected area was the northwest quadrant of the mainland with particularly strong gusts in the Cantabrian mountain range and in Galicia, where they exceeded 100 km/h, with a strong sea storm on the Galician coast.

Very strong gusts hit other mountain systems of the country, such as the Pyrenees, the Iberian system, the Central system and the Betic systems.

Today, Friday, February 9, the mainland and the Balearic Islands remain under the influence of storm Karlotta, which will leave widespread rainfall except in the eastern Mediterranean area. Rainfall is expected to be very heavy in Andalucía and Galicia, with the possibility of snow in the Pyrenees.

Almudena Nogués

The highest accumulations are expected again in Galicia, but also in the southwest quadrant of the Iberian Peninsula and in the Pyrenees. Precipitation will be weaker and less likely in the Cantabrian area, the extreme north-east and south-east of the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.

The wind in the northwest quadrant of the mainland and in the rest of the mountain systems will gradually lose intensity, although very strong gusts may still occur during the first half of the day, especially in the Cantabrian Mountains and the Pyrenees. On the other hand, the wind will pick up in the south, with very strong westerly gusts likely on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Andalucía, as well as in Ceuta, with the consequent coastal storm in the Gulf of Cadiz, Strait of Gibraltar and Alboran Sea.

On Saturday, 10 February, atmospheric stability will gradually prevail “thus ending the conditions that have given rise to this special warning”, Aemet pointed out.

Snow in the Pyrenees

All in all, Saturday will be a transitional day with the wind playing the leading role and with widespread rain, although there will be a tendency for clearings to progressively open up and for rainfall to subside by the end of the day over most of the Spanish mainland.

Temperatures will fall sharply on Saturday, which will cause a significant drop in the snow level, which will be between 1,000-1,500 metres, with light snowfalls in the main mountain ranges, with the highest accumulations expected in the Pyrenees.

Aemet spokesman Cayetano Torres said a new front will arrive on Sunday, which will sweep Spain from west to east and will leave abundant rainfall throughout the mainland “with the Mediterranean area being the least affected”, said Torres.


In Portugal, Civil Protection has placed the entire country on yellow alert and Viana do Castelo on orange due to the adverse weather.

Strong gusts of wind are prevailing across various regions, which could reach 100 km/h in the highlands and 85 km/h on the coast, especially in the North. In addition to heavy rain and strong winds, the IPMA (the Portuguese weather agency) also predicts “an increase in sea agitation, with waves from the southwest measuring 4 to 5 metres in height.”


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