Nevada of Madrid of 1904

great snowfall in madrid in 1904

In November 1904, the largest snowfall recorded in the meteorological record occurred in the city of Madrid, both in duration (from November 27, 1904) and in snow coverage. More than two years later, in February 1907, another heavy snowfall hit the Spanish capital, leaving similar marks and causing numerous problems, although in November 1904 there was a marked increase in snow cover. The great snowfall of Madrid in 1904 left its mark and, to this day, has not been surpassed by Filomena.

In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the great Madrid snowfall of 1904.

Great snowfall in Madrid in 1904

snowy madrid

This is how Inocencio Font Tullot comments in his book «Historia del clima de España» (INM, 1988): «In Madrid, from November 27 to 30, 1904, it snowed intensely, with a layer of snow up to a meter thick in parks, venues and on walking trails.”

The unusual snowfall is unquestionable. In addition to obtaining the pertinent records, the Central Institute of Meteorology (ICM) [now AEMET], which was then located in the building of the old photoelectric tower (“El Castillo”) in Parque del Retiro, also verified that its normal activity was due to heavy snowfall. The collapse of many telegraph lines in the capital prevented much of the data that was received there every day from arriving on time.

In the Daily Meteorological Bulletin from November 27 to 30, 1904, Augusto Arcimís, Director of the ICM, wrote in his own handwriting in the space dedicated to «probable weather» (prediction): Announcements that should be issued». In addition to this, in the daily text describing the general state of (weather), Arcimís highlighted the problems that the snow brought his own work and was unable to air the ad on time as required. The storm reached the Gulf of Cadiz, injected moist air, and encountered the polar cold that had fallen on the peninsula the day before.

how was the snowfall

snowfall madrid 1904

As we mentioned before, the snowfalls began and continued on the 27th (with some interruptions in which it rained) until the 30th. The presence of a deep Atlantic storm coming from Madeira approaching the Gulf of Cádiz and later crossing the English Channel and the Alberland area was the trigger for a very favorable situation as it snowed heavily in Madrid and in many other areas of the peninsular interior. He found the cold air from the poles that had settled on the Iberian Peninsula days before the snowfall, as they say, it was a textbook situation, in the capital it snowed for 32 hours, with a thickness of snow ranging from 70 to 150 centimeters depending on the region, completely paralyzing the city.

newspapers and news

huge snowfall

The chronicles published in the newspapers of the time faithfully attest to the magnitude and peculiarity of that snowfall. In the evening edition of El Grafico, on Wednesday, November 30, 1904, the following is read: «Waking up with rain, at 10 in the morning the rain turned into snow. More damage to telegraph lines and tram cables. All the poles from Porto Toledo to Calabanchel Alto have fallen. Tram circulation continues to be interrupted in many places.

One of the most complete reports on snowfall appeared in the newspaper "El Imparcial" on Thursday, December 1, 1904. We transcribe below the first paragraph of the chronicle, since it perfectly illustrates the great problems that snow has caused in the Spanish capital.

“No snowfall in Madrid is remembered as abundant or as long as the one we are now experiencing. As a result of it, life in Madrid has been interrupted. There are no trains, trams or cars; the streets and avenues are covered by a layer of snow half a meter thick and walking is dangerous and slow. The supply of the markets is done with difficulty, and neither the railroad nor the cars that bring provisions from the immediate towns can provide their service of driving provisions. All the works that are carried out in the open air have been suspended and thousands of workers are jobless.

The appearance of the population is sad and desolate. The roads are almost lonely, many shops are closed, the cafes are not very crowded, theatrical performances were suspended yesterday, telephone communication was interrupted, most of the residents locked up in their homes... Madrid begins the last month of the year as a town dead and buried under huge blocks of marble.

Gravure in print was in its infancy at the time, so there weren't many images of snowfall or people making figures. There were no photos of King Alfonso XIII in those days, but a few days later, on December 8, A photo of him in his new car appeared, published by New World magazine.

The same magazine also published photos of snowfall in different parts of the city that day, including a snow statue that people made in the past in the center of the page. In this case, she is the noble lady.

After pointing out that it has been snowing non-stop for 32 hours, and that the white layer has reached more than a meter in places like Plaza Colón, Mundo Nuevo recounts some of the damage caused by the snow, such as the opening of holes in the sidewalks of some streets and the National Books What happened with the pavilion, the stairs became ramps of ice.

Nevada of Madrid in 1904 and climate change

In the current context of global warming, it is difficult, if not impossible, for Madrid to experience such massive snowfall again. Although the upward trend in temperature is an indisputable fact, and everything indicates that it will continue for the next few decades, the possibility of a climatic pattern similar to the one that occurred at the end of November 1904 cannot be ruled out at any given moment. At that time, the chances of heavy snowfall in Madrid were much higher than they are now, but given the recent tilt of the atmospheric circulation in our latitudes, we may experience something similar.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the great snowfall in Madrid in 1904.

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