70 years ago: waking up to snow on Costa del Sol

The snow in 1954 Photos: Estudio Fotográfico Arenas

In 1954 on the night of February 2 and 3, it snowed in Malaga, something that had not happened since 1885.

2024 has begun with the warmest January since records began in 1880, so it is hard to imagine snow in Malaga city. But it did 70 years ago. January 1954 ended with the arrival of a cold and dry front from the east that froze the country. The Siberian cold wave advanced to the south of the peninsula from the Pyrenees, which, together with a low pressure front formed in the Gulf of Cadiz, meant that on the afternoon of February 2 the first snowfalls arrived in many areas of Andalucia including Huelva, Seville and Cadiz, which were also the last snowfalls in those cities in living memory.

In the city of Malaga it was not until almost midnight on February 2 to 3 that the first flakes fell. As most of the snow fell in the early hours of the morning and set in the early hours of the morning, it was at dawn on February 3 1954 that the people of Malaga became aware of the phenomenon, seeing the city covered in snow. On that freezing day the temperature reached a minimum of 6 degrees below zero.

“They say it’s snowing. If you want to see it, go out into the street”

The most remembered quote of that winter of 1954 was undoubtedly uttered by the Radio Nacional announcer, who said: “They say it’s snowing. If you want to see it, go out into the street”. It wasn’t until half past eleven at night that the real snowflakes arrived, which many Malaga residents had only seen in films.

But it did not only snow in the capital. The white blanket covered the whole of the Costa del Sol; in Marbella, Torremolinos and Estepona the storm was intense. And, in the interior of the Guardalhorce Valley, such as in Coín, Álora, the accumulated snow reached almost a metre in height.

The snow caused damage: the collapse of the Poniente garage in Malaga, when part of the wall of the premises collapsed; the big top of the popular Teatro-Circo Chino de Manolita Chen, which had been set up in the Pasillo de Santo Domingo, also collapsed. The greatest damage was to crops: the citrus, almond and vegetable harvests were lost.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.


    • CCW60

      04 February 2024 • 14:25

      Beautiful… AND no one back then or in 1885 labeled it a phenomena of global warming or climate change. No one said the sky was falling and unless we pay carbon taxes there will be no way to fix it. There was nothing to “fix”. It was weather…unusual weather, but weather none-the-less. Those were the days my friends. I pray for a return to sanity and the acceptance that weather goes through cycles…always has, always will. No amount of carbon tax is going to “fix” what isn’t broke. Truth be known, the entire human population could be wiped from the planet and the weather will STILL go through it’s usual cycles and changes to include warming and cooling, mini ice ages etc. The only thing that would change is our awareness of it.

    • Craig Cass

      09 February 2024 • 10:02

      Thank you Mr Trump, the very smart genius meterologist.

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