A Himar González (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 44 years old) can be seen on weekends on Antena 3 reporting on the weather with the duo Mónica Carrillo and Matías Prats. She has lived “pleasantly” this “extraordinary” weekend for ‘Filomena’ who forced her to stay near the Atresmedia headquarters due to the impossibility of returning home on Saturday after finishing the Antena 3 newscast.
-After the storm comes calm, it is often said … in this case a very intense cold arrives, right?
-When a cold wave arrives in Spain, it is usually Siberian if it comes from Siberia or a polar cold wave if it comes from the Arctic, but in this case it is a wave that has been generated by the intense snow conditions that have left us. of the storm Filomena. We have that great snowy blanket that is covering the center of the peninsula and, in addition, an anticyclone appears that has led to clear skies and that causes the nights to be cold, because the heat goes outside again. In this case, with the snowy mantle, solar radiation, when hitting the snow, is reflected and the heat pulls upwards and the earth’s surface is not heated. We have passed a historical snow wave and now it is a historical cold wave with minimum temperatures never seen before.
-So, are we facing the first cold wave of winter?
-What requirements have to be met?
-They must always have a duration of at least three days and this will be four. In addition, it must have a considerable extension and that at least 10% of the Aemet stations register a temperature that exceeds the minimum temperature threshold to be classified as such.
-Is this that happened with ‘Filomena’ a matter of climate change or not?
-It has nothing to do with it. Data have been given of those accumulated in Madrid that have been more than 50 centimeters, this represents the largest snowfall in a whole century. They are specific and extraordinary episodes that occur with a return period of 50 or 100 years. What is going to be more frequent and is a consequence of climate change is that it snows less in the center of the peninsula and the winters are warmer. That is a direct consequence of the global warming that we are experiencing. This episode is a series of meteorological, not climatic circumstances that have favored this great snowfall.
“The forecasts were correct, but it was a catastrophe due to lack of planning”
-And now we have to prepare for the ice, what recommendations do you make?
-It is very important to avoid going out into the street after the sun goes down, because temperatures are going to plummet, especially where it has snowed. That ice that we have begun to see is going to be more intense and it is going to increase. Also, let’s give a hand to our elders as in confinement, because if a slip for a young person in this situation is dangerous, for an older person it is a tragedy. So it is very important not to go outside when the sun is not in the sky and especially not to take the car.
-You had to live and tell the advance of ‘Filomena’ live, how was the weekend?
-Phew! It has been a professionally very rewarding and interesting weekend. It is a very specific historical fact that we do not see the same again, but it has been intense with a lot of work. Then there is the logistics, because there were colleagues who were trapped in San Sebastián de los Reyes (Madrid) and had to sleep in hotels. Luckily I teleworked on Friday, but Saturday to go to work was an odyssey. I left home at 6:30 am in the middle of a storm, with a blizzard, my street was 30 or 35 centimeters thick and I was the one who opened the way (laughs). On Saturday we already had to sleep there.
“It was warned”
-It was warned in advance, but were the meteorological forecasts exceeded?
-No. What I believe is that human beings, when they have not experienced something like this before, cannot imagine what could happen. There is no historical reference of what is going to come over. Yes, it was notified of what was to come, and three days before we warned that the probability of this historic snowfall was 100%. The forecasts were very correct, it was not more than expected and it was a catastrophe due to lack of prior planning.
-How are these spaces prepared? Because that phrase of ‘Fallas more than the weather man’ is already going down in history …
-That’s been a long time, right? (Laughter) Those are very very very specific occasions in very specific places. I am a meteorologist and I make my forecasts, I review numerical models, I put my knowledge tools, I prepare the maps and depending on what is going to happen I manage the time space with the news. It is quite intense, we do not stop and it takes a lot of work behind
-Being from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria I imagine the answer, but are you more of storms or anticyclones?
– (Laughter) You have it super easy. For my personal life anticyclone, but the professional more storms.