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In pictures: Storm Filomena hits Spain as Greeks bask in heatwave

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Spain is racing to respond to Storm Filomena, which brought heavy snow and unusually cold temperatures over the weekend.

The capital Madrid has been one of the worst affected areas, while temperatures plunged to -8C (18F) in other parts of the country.

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But some people have sought to make the most of the extreme weather.

This woman was seen skiing with her dog in Madrid on Sunday.

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Others, however, opted for more conventional approaches to skiing.

This man was pictured racing down a street in the city as a crowd watched on.

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The unusual cold snap on the Iberian peninsula is expected to last until Thursday, and Spaniards have been warned to take care as temperatures could fall further.

Soldiers have been deployed to clear major roads, while volunteers have also worked to dig out cars buried by the snow.

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The snowfall and falling temperatures were not the only result of Storm Filomena, however.

The extreme weather also led to rough seas around the Spanish coast.

Here, a surfer can be seen taking advantage of the big waves breaking at a beach in Barcelona.

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Those images come in stark contrast to the weather elsewhere in southern Europe.

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While surfers enjoyed the waves in Spain, Greeks headed to the beach over the weekend for a somewhat more relaxing experience.

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The country is basking in an unusual spell of warm weather, with temperatures in Athens expected to reach 23C (73.4F) on Monday.

For context, the average temperature in the city in January is around 10C.

image copyrightEPA

Such high temperatures for January were last seen in 1987 and 2010, according to the National Observatory of Athens.

People made the most of the unusual weather, with beachgoers in Athens pictured playing games and swimming in the sea.

Public parks and other popular walking spots around Greece were also busy.

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  • Storm Filomena: Spain races to clear snow as temperatures plunge

  • Storm Filomena: Heavy snowfall closes roads in Madrid