In the 1,000 to 1,900 meter high town of Navacerrada in the Madrid region, about 50 kilometers northwest of the Spanish capital, there was, for example, 36 centimeters of fresh snow, as reported by the newspaper "El Pais" and other media, citing the responsible authorities.

There hadn't been such a heavy snowfall in April in the municipality with around 3,000 inhabitants for 20 years. Elsewhere in Spain, authorities reported problems on 26 major trunk roads.

It is not the snow itself that is surprising, reported "El Pais", but its intensity. Although these white images are surprising at this stage of spring, snow is not unheard of in Spain's main mountain ranges at this time of year, Aemet Weather Service spokesman Ruben del Campo said. The thick snowflakes, on the other hand, are unusual and conspicuous, according to the meteorologist.

The weather service not only issued an alarm for Madrid, but also for nine other of the country's 17 autonomous communities, including Andalusia, Valencia and Catalonia. There are warnings of snow and rain, avalanches and landslides, strong winds, extreme cold and high waves.

In some areas, up to 20 liters of rain can be expected in a single hour. Wind gusts of between 70 and 80 kilometers per hour are also forecast. The alarm is still valid in a weakened form on Thursday and Friday.