While the coast basked in warm sunshine for much of December, northern Spain suffered from heavy snow and flooding.  At least two people died as intense rain caused rivers to overflow in parts of Navarre, Aragón, La Rioja and the Basque Country, forcing evacuations and disrupting transport.

The conditions were brought about by storm Barra which dumped to 100 millimetres of rain in 12 hours in many places.  At one point in the first half of last month, 20 provinces were on alert for rain, wind and snow.

On December 12, rescue teams pulled out the body of a 61-year-old man from the Bidasoa river, in the Navarre region.  Two days earlier, a 49-year-old woman died in the same region when a landslide near the same river caused a shed collapse on top of her at a rural property.  

Zaragosa was badly hit with the city warning people to stay away from the River Ebro, swollen by water from thawing snow, and providing high-level areas for parking vehicles.  La Rioja was on emergency alert for several days as the Ebro riover flooded several municipalities, while the government in Aragón said they were prepared for “worst case” scenarios.