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Excessive rainfall with enhanced threat for flooding develops across Portugal and WNW Spain today, Dec 16th

The dynamic pattern across North Atlantic and western Europe – which will result in very warm weather across parts of European continent this weeky – will bring fronts into Iberian peninsula as well. A frontal system associated with the large trough over WSW Europe is being pushed into the Iberian peninsula today, delivering an excessive amount of orographic rainfall into parts of Portugal and WNW Spain. Locally flooding threat will enhance as 100-150 mm seems likely to accumulate by Tuesday morning.

A quite impressive morning satellite (VIS & IR channels) today, revealing a large frontal system with a powerful southwesterly flow across Iberia. The main cold front is already moving across southern Portugal.

The pattern over Europe today indicates a strengthening upper ridge across the Mediterranean and the Balkan peninsula while a large deep trough exists over WSW Europe, entering the Iberian peninsula. In between, a powerful south-southwesterly jet stream has established. Resulting in a very strong warm/moist airmass advection into SW Europe.

Here is a 3-hour sequence of the frontal system moving across the Iberian peninsula today. The most intense, partly convective, rainfall is expected along the leading cold front, while excessive rainfall will also develop along with the mountain ranges.

Models are in fairly good agreement for an excessive amount of rainfall over a broad area, with the highest amounts around the mountain ranges. ICON-EU, ARPEGE and ECMWF models hint up to around 150 mm of total rainfall is likely until Tuesday late morning. AROME model is even more aggressive and pushes the total amount above 200 mm in this period.

A lot of snow – possibly 50-80 cm – is also likely across the higher elevations of the Cordillera Central mountain range in NW Spain. Elsewhere, temperatures will be too high for snowfall.

See also – developing warmth over Europe this week:

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