Following the most powerful snowstorm in five decades and the coldest temperatures ever recorded, parts of Spain have come to a standstill: businesses and schools have closed, the power is out, and at least 4 people have died.
The weekend’s historic snowfall led to structural damage and broken heating pipes across the nation’s capital, and the army is still on the scene assisting with the clean-up.
Storm Filomena paralyzed Madrid, forcing the closure of Barajas Airport, suspending train services, and leaving as many as 2,500 people trapped in their cars:
Although it wasn’t all doom-and-gloom.
The famous Gran Vía street in Madrid was the scene of an epic snowball fight:
And “skiing the streets of Madrid” was also possible:
NASA satellites snapped images of Spain blanketed in thick snow.
On Monday afternoon, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite photographed Spain, revealing the vast expanse of snow:
“Some suburban and rural areas in central, northern, and eastern Spain were coated with up to 50 cm (20 inches) of snow,” NASA Earth Observatory noted.
A collision between a low-pressure weather system and a cold air mass triggered the deadly blizzard, NASA Earth Observatory said.
Talking to Good Morning Europe, climate scientists Dr. Markus Donat said that Filomena was a truly exceptional weather event: “On one hand, we had this low-pressure system that moved from the Atlantic over the Iberian Peninsula. And this low-pressure system hit a stream of very cold air from the Polar Arctic region, combined with large precipitation provided by the same low-pressure system created the perfect conditions for this storm and this record amount of snowfall.”
Madrid logged 30.5 cm (12 inches) of snow as Filomena hit. Meteorologists noted that the capital’s accumulation was its largest since 1971, perhaps longer, with the Spanish weather agency AEMET describing it as “exceptional and most likely historic.”
Over the weekend, Spain’s transport minister, José Luis Ábalos, said that Storm Filomena “exceeded the most pessimistic forecasts we had.”
Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said the situation on the capital’s roads was improving but was still “extraordinary” and many remained closed.
Ministers declined to say if the capital city would be declared a disaster zone, saying they first needed to evaluate the damages.
Record cold accompanied the snow.
Last week, Spain set a new all-time low temperature record of -34.1C (-29.4F), before then breaking it again a day later with a reading of -35.7C (-32.3F).
The unprecedented chill has persisted into this week, too.
On Tuesday, half of Spain was still struggling to deal with the cold snap, reported elpais.com, cold that is now turning the accumulated snow into ice, making clean-up efforts much more difficult, and treacherous.
Temperatures early Monday morning were the coldest since 1982 in many regions, according to AEMET. So low was the mercury in Madrid that the city offered emergency shelter to 4,000 slum dwellers, the telegraph.co.uk reported.
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with the great conjunction, historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among other forcings).
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.
Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift