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Ditch the turkey for paella: Christmas temperatures in Spain to hit 24ºC

Stable weather, little rain and balmy conditions are expected for the first week of the festive holiday season

El tiempo en Navidades 2019
A man dressed as Santa in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol. Europa Press

Being able to enjoy a paella in your shirtsleeves on Christmas Day in some parts of Spain is no longer a rare occurrence. “The heat is the new normal,” said Teresa Ribera, Spain’s minister for environmental transition, on World Weather Day this year. That can certainly be said for this year’s forecast for the holiday season, which, according to state weather agency AEMET, will see stable conditions, little rain and high temperatures for this time of year, with a maximum of 24ºC expected in the southeastern province of Alicante. Last year the mercury topped 18ºC.

But before the calm, will come the storm. School vacations will begin today with rain showers, high winds and the arrival of the Elsa weather front, which will complicate the many journeys that Spaniards will make today as Christmas week begins. The effects of Elsa were felt on Thursday in the west and the center of the peninsula, and today will move toward the east and reach the Mediterranean.

School vacations will begin today with rain showers, high winds and the arrival of the Elsa weather front

According to AEMET spokesperson Rubén del Campo, Friday will be “one of the most complicated days of the year,” with weather warnings in 46 provinces and the North African exclave city of Ceuta. On Saturday, the final effects of Elsa will be felt in the morning, with another front – dubbed Fabien – expected to bring more rain, wind and heavy waves.

Conditions will begin to improve, however, on Monday, with “stable, relatively warm air that will see little rainfall and a mild atmosphere, even warm for the year,” explains Del Campo, adding that “it is most likely that the first week of Christmas will be stable and warm.”

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, temperatures are expected to reach 22ºC in Seville in the southern region of Andalusia, when the average for those days is usually 16ºC. In the east, Alicante province may reach 24ºC, when the average is 17ºC. In Barcelona, thermometers will hit 17ºC on Christmas Eve, and 20ºC the following day, when the average would be just 13ºC. And in Madrid, the temperature will be 15ºC on Christmas Eve, and 18ºC the next day, when the average is 9ºC. Santander in northern Spain will see 19ºC and 18ºC, five or six degrees above average.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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