Temperatures dropped below freezing on the island’s highest peaks where ice was the dominant note throughout the early hours of Tuesday.
The extreme temperature reached its lowest at Pico do Areeiro, where the thermometer touched -2 degrees at 5:10 am, according to data from the meteorological stations of the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA).
At Pico do Areeiro, the thermometers have been negative since midnight: the maximum reached was no more than -0.8 degrees.
It was also at Pico do Areeiro where it rained the most that night. The registered rainfall reached 20.1 mm since midnight and was in the form of hail, painting the highlands white, amidst the heavy fog that prevents the sight of the stunning landscape.
The ice on the highest peaks associated with the circumstance of moderate wind from the north quadrant explains the icy cold sensation felt in the Funchal region, as if someone had forgotten to close the fridge door…
Also in Bica da Cana and Chão do Areeiro, the thermometers dropped to zero, with the maximum not going above 1.6 and 0.8 respectively.
Despite being cold, this Tuesday morning was not the coldest of the year. On the 14th of March, the thermometers marked -3.3 degrees (estimated by the IPMA Observatory), keeping the temperature below zero until the 22nd of March, allowing the conservation of the white mantle for a week.
It was the last snowfall to paint the landscape white down to the lower levels of the island, between the forest perimeter and the urban fabric, surprising many of the inhabitants who left home to work.