The unremitting cold spell affecting much of Spain had 31 provinces on alert for low temperatures on Thursday.
Thermometers could drop to -10ºC in parts of Huesca, Ávila, Zamora, Girona and Lleida. Both highs and lows across the country are expected to be below average for this time of the year.
According to provisional figures released by the national weather service AEMET, the lowest temperature so far on Thursday has been recorded in Cap de Vaquèira, in the Catalan province of Lleida, where thermometers showed -15.2ºC.
The cold weather has been spreading across the peninsula this week: there were 15 provinces on alert on Monday, 26 on Tuesday and 31 on Wednesday and Thursday.
AEMET said that Friday could be the coldest day of the winter, a feeling that will be compounded by the wind-chill factor.
More than 270 secondary roads were affected by the snow at 8am on Thursday, especially in the Pyrenees and the Ebro Valley. In Asturias, 11 mountain roads have shut down and snow chains are required in Castellón, Teruel and León. In the Canary Islands, the traffic authority DGT reported 10 road closures.
Lows have been between 3ºC and 6ºC below what’s considered normal for this time of the year, especially in southwestern Spain. Highs have been 4ºC to 7ºC lower than usual.
Snow will keep falling in the Basque Country, Navarre, Cantabria, Burgos and La Rioja after affecting other parts of Spain earlier this week, including the capital Madrid. Barcelona could also turn white on Thursday after the AEMET forecast a chance of snowfall at sea level in Catalonia.
“On Friday, snow will return to wide areas of the northwest and the northern plateau,” said Delia Gutiérrez, an AEMET spokeswoman, explaining that a new cold front is entering from the northwest.
English version by Susana Urra.