The DGT urges drivers to anticipate the return of the Constitution Bridge to possible heavy snowfall in the north | Spain

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The N-135 road, in Navarra, affected by snow this Sunday.
The N-135 road, in Navarra, affected by snow this Sunday.Jesus Diges (EFE)

The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has urged citizens who have traveled by road to the northern half of Spain on the occasion of the Constitution and Immaculate Bridge to advance their return home in anticipation of snowfall for Wednesday December 8, which can hinder circulation. The reason is the entry starting this Tuesday of a new front of cold air and subsequent discharge of precipitation in the form of snow that could hinder road traffic in the northern half of the peninsula on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and that could affect no only to secondary roads, but also to high-capacity roads, as the DGT warned this Monday in a statement. The traffic request to drivers is clear to return to their usual homes at the latest on Tuesday, December 7: “Advance your return to your places of origin and do not wait until Wednesday to get on the road.”

The DGT note highlights the reason for the unusual appeal to motorists: “The reason is the entry from tomorrow [martes] of a new front of cold air and subsequent discharge of precipitation in the form of snow that could hamper road traffic in the northern half of the peninsula on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and that could affect not only secondary roads, but also high-capacity roads [autovías y autopistas]”.

In addition to asking drivers who have gone to the north of Spain to return, the DGT considers it very important that those who reside in that area of ​​the country “avoid all those trips that are not essential and wait until there are no weather alerts.”

Two skiers and a dog enjoy the fully covered Roncesvalles parking lot in the snow.

All the information about the state of the roads and weather conditions in Spain

Traffic adds that the cold front will continue its advance through the southeast half of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands, weakening, but establishing a flow from the west or northwest cold, humid and unstable. This entry will bring with it a drop in the snow level to between 400 and 800 meters in the extreme north, from 600 to 900 in the center and from 1,000 to 1,400 in the southeast, so snowfall is expected in the mountainous areas of the Cantabrian Mountains, Pyrenees, Iberian System and Central System and also in flat areas of sufficient altitude.

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These snowfalls are expected to be heavy in the interior northwest and are not ruled out on the Cantabrian coastline. Thus, from the early hours of the 8th there are active warnings for snowfalls in those areas referred to and will continue throughout the day. According to the forecast of the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) on Monday at eight in the afternoon, there is a risk of between 40% and 70% of accumulating up to 18 centimeters of snow in 24 hours above 600 o 900 meters of altitude in the Cantabrian mountain range of León, which will be 10 centimeters in the Huesca Pyrenees above 700 or 800 meters of altitude and 5 centimeters in the Lleida Pyrenees and in the Arán Valley (above 1,000 to 1,200 meters, although it will also snow below that level).

The snowstorm already affected many roads in the north of the peninsula this Monday, at 8:00 p.m., although all of the secondary network. 15 tracks were cut by snow, out of a total of 57 affected to a greater or lesser extent, in the autonomous communities of Aragon – where the most complications caused bad weather – Asturias, Castilla y León, Cantabria, Catalonia, Navarra and La Rioja.

Regarding rainfall, showers are expected in a large part of the Peninsula, generalized, abundant and with occasional storms in Galicia, the Cantabrian Sea and the western Pyrenees, with some persistence in the surroundings of Galicia. In a weaker, scattered and occasional way, they will spread to the south and east, more intense in the mountains and the Straits, and without ruling out that, with low probability, they will reach the interior of the Mediterranean area of ​​the peninsula. In the Balearic Islands they are probable, with the possibility of occasional storms.

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The worsening weather is due to a new very active frontal system related to the storm Bar, located to the west of Ireland, which will affect the Peninsula from tomorrow, Tuesday, and on Wednesday also the Balearic Islands, with snowfalls and strong gusts of wind in large areas, according to the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet). This organism warns that the snow level will drop this Tuesday to 700 meters in the western Cantabrian mountain range and in Galicia at the end of the day, while in the Pyrenees it will remain around 1,000-1,600 meters in its westernmost part and between 1,400-2,000 in the rest.

On Wednesday, the front will continue to advance through the southeastern half of the peninsula and the Balearic Islands, weakening, but establishing a cold, wet and unstable flow from the west or northwest, which will leave widespread, abundant showers with occasional storms in Galicia, the Cantabrian Sea and the Pyrenees, which they could be locally persistent on the Cantabrian coast.

With these forecasts, Traffic considers that, in addition to advancing the return trip, “it is very important” that citizens residing in the northern half of the Peninsula avoid all those road trips that are not essential and wait until there are no alerts meteorological. The 21 automated and monitored diversions for bagging trucks are now ready for operation, to be activated if necessary.

Traffic considers it essential to check the weather conditions before hitting the road and points out that circulation may be restricted to certain vehicles and require the use of winter tires or chains to drive on roads affected by snow. In case of not having them, the agents of the Traffic Group of the Civil Guard will prevent the passage of that vehicle.

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What to do if you encounter snow on the road

THE COUNTRY

If you come across snow while traveling on the road, these are the main recommendations for drivers from the Directorate General of Traffic depending on the situation of the road: check the weather reports before leaving, follow the instructions of the authorities and Go well equipped in the vehicle, with a full tank, a charged mobile battery, warm clothes and wear chains or special tires for snow.

It starts to snow (green level). It is recommended to circulate at a maximum of 100 kilometers per hour on highways and highways and not to exceed 80 on the rest of the roads. For trucks, it is recommended that they travel in the right lane and without overtaking. Avoid harbors, exercise caution and watch for the weather forecast.

Little covered road (yellow level). Trucks and articulated vehicles are prohibited from driving. Cars and buses must not exceed 60 kilometers per hour. Traffic recommends avoiding sudden maneuvers and, in curves and descents, slowing down further.

Covered road (red level). Articulated vehicles, trucks and buses are prohibited from circulating. Do not pass immobilized vehicles without the security of being able to continue driving. You can only circulate with chains or special tires at 30 kilometers per hour.

Very thick on the road (black level). Circulation is prohibited to any vehicle. If you get stuck, use the heat. Do not leave the vehicle if there is no shelter. In order not to impede the work of the snow plows, park as far along the edge as possible, as far away from the road as possible.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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