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Excessive rainfall across northern Spain and extreme amounts of snow for the Pyrenees until Friday, Jan 25th

An excessive precipitation event is forecast for the northern Iberian peninsula and the Pyrenees through the next 48 hours as an textbook orographic rainfall/snowfall event (Stau efect) develops. 150-250 mm of rainfall is possible across the Picos de Europe mountain range (Peaks of Europe) and up to 150-200 cm of fresh snow over the higher Pyrenees. This will strongly enhance snow avalanche threat there.

The evolving pattern is supported by the general outbreak of cold Arctic airmass into the west-central Europe on its way towards the Mediterranean through the rest of this week. To the west, a strong ridge remains over the Atlantic and favours strong north/northwesterly moist flow from the Bay of Biscay towards the Iberian peninsula. The arrival of the trough into the Mediterranean will cause a very intense cyclone around Sardinia, causing a potentially dangerous windstorm across the western Mediterranean.

Total rainfall accumulation until Friday morning, based on ICON-EU, ARPEGE and HIRLAM models – locally even more than 250 mm is possible within 48 hours, peaking over the Picos de Europa mountain range.

While snowfall will be ongoing quite high this time, high Pyrenees mountain range should experience very intense snowfall due to persistent Stau effect from the north. Locally 100-150 cm of snow is possible by Friday morning, possibly even more in places where orographic effects will be maximized.

Stay alert for dangerous weather developing and stay tuned for further updates!

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