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Spain, On the Cusp of Spring: Earth Image of the Week March 14, 2014
Alaska January heat graphic.
Sparkling weather prevailed across southwestern France, Spain and Portugal on March 8, 2014.
Spain, along with much of Western Europe, has been battered by a procession of winter storms that many have described as the worst in decades.

Northwestern Spain’s Cantabric coast was recently pounded by waves of up to 30 feet in height accompanied by near hurricane-force winds.

Three weeks of violent storms during late February and early March wrecked seaside streets and eroded popular tourist beaches along the Bay of Biscay coast.

But there was a welcome respite from such storms on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

The image to the right was captured at midday on that date by NASA’s Terra satellite.

It shows almost entirely cloud-free skies across the Iberian peninsula and adjacent areas of France.

The varied patchwork of arid and forested parts of the region showed up clearly that day when viewed from space.

Temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit prevailed across a wide area of Spain and southern France, according to official weather observations.

Also visible in the image are the snow-capped peaks of the Pyreneese range, which separate France and Spain, as well as those in the rugged Cantabrian Mountains, inland from the Bay of Biscay.

The snows are a lingering reminder of frigid winter storms that dumped snow so deep that several roads were blocked, isolated some villages for days.

Image: NASA