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Spain: Valentine's Day weekend to bring northwestern flood threat, widespread cold

A wet start to the weekend across Spain, with flooding rain threatening northwestern areas, will turn into a chilly Valentine's Day.

Instead of targeting the United Kingdom, storms will track back-to-back into western Europe into this weekend. Each will bring a bout of rain to Spain.

While the steadiest rain will likely fizzle out before reaching the eastern coast during the first half of the weekend, there will be little, if any, break between the rounds of rain for northwestern Spain.

As the rain persists, the risk of flooding will increase in Santiago de Compostela, Vigo and Bilbao.

The most serious flooding will likely threaten the Galicia region where widespread rain amounts of 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) are expected, which includes what fell on Friday. Runoff from such rain will easily flood low-lying and urban areas and lead to rapid rises on streams and rivers.

Mudslides and road closures are possible. To avoid a potentially dangerous situation, remember never to attempt to drive through flood waters.

The storms responsible for the rain during the first half of the weekend will also cause gusty winds to graze the northern coast. Gusts will reach 80-105 km/h (50-65 mph) Saturday afternoon and evening, threatening to cause tree damage and power cuts.

Gusty winds, albeit not as strong, will blow over Spain on Saturday but will likely be more noticeable on Sunday and Monday as colder air pours in.

Temperatures will return to more seasonable levels, with winds creating even lower AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures. Residents will definitely want to bundle up before heading out to celebrate Valentine's Day on Sunday or going back to work or school on Monday.

RealFeels in Madrid will drop down to near freezing Sunday evening and will only recover to around 3 C (middle to upper 30s F) on Monday.

Further making these days less than desirable to be outdoors, the storm opening the door for the colder air to arrive will also deliver additional showers Sunday into Monday. The showers will be more numerous on Sunday when compared to Monday.

Aside from heightening concerns for more flooding in the northwest and ruining outdoor plans, the rain will be beneficial to ease the rainfall shortages most of the country is experiencing.

The air will be cold enough for snow to develop and fall in the mountains. Snow may even mix in with the showers in Castile y Leon Sunday night into early Monday morning.

Pilot aborts landing at last second because of heavy winds from Storm Imogen

The heaviest snow will bury the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains with totals averaging 30-60 cm (1-2 feet). Travel will become difficult with the brisk winds resulting in blowing and drifting.

"Snowfall of 8-15 cm (3-6 inches) is expected in the Cordillera Central with 2-8 cm (1-3 inches) in the Sierra Nevada," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.

Drier weather will return on Tuesday, but the brisk winds will persist.