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Easter holidays bring “mass of cold air” and wind

Anyone heading for the beach as schools break up had better have warm clothes to the ready – the forecast for the next 10 days is dire: lots of ‘instability’ with the possibility of hail, thunderstorms and frost.

Schools break up tomorrow (Friday), by which time five districts will be on orange alert (one step below red) for snow.

Says SIC, the alert kicks in this evening at which point minimum temperatures for the country will be “oscillating between -1 and 8ºC”.

Before getting too disheartened, readers should remember that the Algarve always comes out best in these ‘weather dampeners’. Even though the rest of the country will be piling on the layers again, maximum temperatures down south will be much kinder overall.

But, wherever you are, there simply won’t be much ‘fun in the sun’.

Northern districts of Bragança, Guarda, Vila Real, Viana do Castelo and Braga are to get the worst of the cold, expecting snow on high ground, while Porto, Viana do Castelo, Leiria, Aveiro, Coimbra and Braga are in for “periods of rain” some of it heavy.

The Algarve joins districts flagged for yellow alert from tomorrow for “maritime agitation” (meaning dangerous seas, not worth risking any kind of swimming).

Says weather authority IPMA, clouds will start moving in today “from the north to the south, with the rain slowly extending to the entire country” (likely to be its most intense in the north and central regions where winds will also reach up to 70 km/h).

Tabloid Correio da Manhã describes the looming weekend as ‘likely to see average temperatures drop by around 6ºC’.

In other words, the Algarve with its midday 22ºC earlier this week, is now on the way down to around 20º and may dip to as low as 16ºC by Saturday.

“Much colder” will be areas like Serra de Estrela where even this evening temperatures are expected to plummet to -7ºC.