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Northwestern Spain faces flooding rain through Sunday

By By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
January 12, 2016, 12:05:24 PM EST

The combination of a wet start to 2016 and additional rain has those in northwestern Spain on alert for flooding problems through Sunday.

A pair of cold fronts will bring persistent rain to Galicia, Castile y Leon, Asturias and Cantabria through Sunday. Flooding could extend into northern Portugal as well as the rain will fall heavily at times.


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Showers will wet Madrid and Sevilla at times, but will struggle to reach Barcelona and Murcia.

Rainfall amounts on Sunday are expected to be 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) across northwest Spain and northern Portugal. Some locations could even see more than this. Over the two days of the weekend, rain totals could reach 125 mm (5 inches) in a few locations.

The highest rainfall totals and greatest risk for flooding will be in Galicia and far northern Portugal.

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“Flooding will definitely be a concern across the region through the weekend, especially given all of the rain that has fallen since New Year's Day,” Accuweather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

Rainfall so far this January, as of Saturday morning, has already reached 237 mm (9.3 inches) in Vigo. Rain continued through the day on Saturday, and with additional rain expected on Sunday, this total will increase. The average for the entire month is only about 90 mm (3.6 inches).

In addition to the rain, the front on Sunday will kick up wind gusts of 65-80 km/h (40-50 mph) in northwestern Spain with gusts to 95 km/h (60 mph) along the coast. Due to the saturated soil, the winds could have an easier time downing trees. Damage and power outages could result.

"There will be about a six-hour period of the wind and heaviest rain in northwestern Spain on Sunday afternoon and night," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards.

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Finally a break in the heavier rain will come to northwestern Spain on Monday. There will still be showers around into Tuesday, but the pause in the heavy rain will help any floodwaters to start to recede.

However, the break from the excessively wet weather early in the new week may only be brief. It is possible that a new storm returns more widespread rain to northwestern Spain around the middle of next week.

Content contributed by AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski and Meteorologist Adam Douty.

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