Spain weather warning as seven regions placed on orange alert

BBC Weather: UK warned of unsettled rain and strong winds

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Storm Denise has Spain braced for impact with weather officials forced to place several regions on orange alert. Forecasters believe the storm will pound the Spanish coast with hurricane-force winds while bringing some unusual conditions. Sky-high waves, extreme winds, rain and more will batter up to seven regions over the next 24 hours.

The regions under orange alerts include Aragon, Asturias, the Balearic Islands, Cantabria, Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country.

While each area has the same coloured warning, they won’t experience the same threat.

Spanish meteorological agency Aemet expects a mixture of conditions ranging from extreme winds to heavy snow.

Asturias and the Basque Country lie in the storm’s path on the Cantabrian coast, placing them at a high impact risk from severe winds.

Those winds could whip up coastal swells towering between seven and eight metres.

Galicia, also on the coast, has similar warnings, with Denise to strike with winds reaching between 38mph and 45mph (62 and 74 kmh) and waves up to seven metres.

The port city of Tarragona will see the most dangerous winds on the precipice of hurricane level.

The city on Spain’s east coast could see gusts reach up to 62 mph (100 kmh).

Winds will also accelerate across the Balearic archipelago and, to a lesser degree, across Spain’s central regions.

Aemet has introduced an orange warning for “adverse coastal phenomena”, causing wind speeds to reach between 37mph and 46.6mph (60 and 75kmh).

Waves could reach heights of four metres, while swells nearly double this, towering between seven and eight metres.

Aragon, further inland on the northeast, is in the path of Denise’s snowy front.

Aemet anticipates the area could see nearly one foot of settled snow over higher ground.

The orange alert warns people living above an altitude of 1,200 metres can expect up to 20cm of accumulated snow.

Catalonia’s alert warns that the wintry front will snake further inland, with snowfall to reach 20 centimetres in 24 hours.

Several areas not within an orange warning fall inside a lesser yellow alert.

Aemet has placed seven central Spanish areas inside a yellow warning, with wind reaching speeds between 43mph and 49mph (70kmh and 80kmh).

Those areas include:

  • Andalusia
  • Castilla y Leon
  • Castilla La Mancha
  • Community of Madrid
  • Community of Navarra
  • La Rioja
  • Valencian Community

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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