Photo: Peter Louer
Updated 3 January 2017: The calima’s dispersing, very slowly, but the air is evidently clearing bit by bit, but meteorologists are forecasting a new weather system towards the end of the week, this time caused by a “deep depression”. It seems that this wet weather won’t be able to reach us fully because of the opposing pressure of the African system that’s causing the current calima, but we’ll get the edge of it, and that should bring windy weather, if not actual rain. That wind might bring more calima … or the borrasco will overpower the African system and we’ll get rain. No doubt there will be more clarity in due course, but for the moment, we can expect an interesting weekend weather-wise!
Updated 30 December 2016: As I said yesterday, the forecast was for the calima to return, and with it have come high winds. These have caused Aemet to issue a yellow alert for winds (orange in El Hierro) gusting to 75 km/h today and tomorrow. The Cabildo’s Security department has also issued advice on staying safe in high winds: please see HERE.
Updated 29 December: The Guardia Civil’s mountain rescue teams do an arduous and often dangerous job, but sometimes it must have its compensations! Here is a video from GREIM (Grupos de Rescate Especial de Intervención en Montaña) filmed on Christmas Eve in the snow on Teide. Meanwhile, particularly at lower levels, the dense calima which seemed yesterday to have begun to clear is expected to return today, though not quite as severely as over the past several days. It’s not expected to clear completely until the New Year.
Updated 26 December: At last the threatened calima has arrived with high winds and low visibility. The conditions are expected to last until Thursday or Friday, but unlike summer calimas, won’t push the temperatures up too much above 22º. Meanwhile, in the Teide National Park, there is still snow on the ground, and the roads are all open. If you’re going up, this is what you’ll find … thanks to MeteoLaMatanza for the video, which was filmed on a drive up yesterday.
Updated 4pm: And now the TF24 La Esperanza road has been reopened, so all the Teide access roads are open to traffic.
Updated 12.30pm: The Cabildo’s Roads department has announced this lunchtime that the TF21 Teide access road (La Orotava-Vilaflor) has been reopened. As always, the authorities ask any drivers going up to see the snow to take the utmost care because of the possibility of ice on the road surface.
Updated 24 December: HERE are the webcams at the observatory at Izaña (up on Teide) for anyone who would like to keep a watch in real time of the snow! Just to be clear, for those who don’t know Tenerife well, this is at an altitude of 2,390 metres (nearly 8,000 feet). Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK (I believe!), and that’s 1,345m (4,400 feet) – this Tenerife snow is at roughly twice the altitude of the highest point in the UK! The lowest the snow comes down to is around 1,000m. Often in the winter there is snow in the hills but sun down on the beaches!
Updated 23 December: It was supposed to be “blustery”, a wind from severe conditions in North Africa which would bring “some calima” with it. In the event it was a howling gale, with pouring rain, events cancelled, and roads to Teide closed. The one bonus? Tenerife is having a white Christmas!
Aemet has now given a yellow alert for high winds gusting to 85 km/h up to and including Christmas Day, though that might yet be extended. The north access roads to Teide, TF21 and TF24, are closed until at least Boxing Day because of ice on the carriageways. The Boca Tauce road, TF37, was closed earlier but has been reopened, but the authorities ask drivers to take the greatest care possible and to obey any signage.
Meanwhile, here’s our white Christmas! Teide today, thanks to Projecto Multi Teide for the photos!
Updated 17 December: There is a forecast for winds over the next few days, particularly at altitude, and a few light to moderate showers above all in the north, but one feature of the forecast needs stressing, and that’s rough seas. The swell of up to 5m that’s expected will result in seas rough enough for Aemet to issue a yellow alert for today and tomorrow, so please be aware of the dangers of the sea here, have a look HERE, and take extra care.
Updated 3 December: Short and sweet, or at least short and not too wet. Meteorologists say that there wasn’t too much rain because it was simply too windy for it to cause a problem, and gusts of up to 120 km/h have been recorded overnight in Izaña and at altitude. The worst is over, however, and the DGSE has lifted its alert for high winds. All security services say, however, that it will remain quite blustery and that this will be very apparent near the coast where the seas will be rough. Please be careful if going in the water!
Updated 11.3oam: The Canarian Government’s Direción General de Seguridad y Emergencias (Security and Emergencies Board) has issued an alert for high winds in Tenerife and La Palma from 10pm tonight. The DGSE draws attention to official advice HERE for remaining safe in stormy and windy weather. With these weather conditions, local outdoor events may be disrupted; La Orotava, for example, has postponed its Winter Festival, and Arona has cancelled all outdoor events or moved them indoors where possible: more councils are likely to make their own changes until this weather system passes.
Updated 2 December: Aemet has now brought forward its yellow alert for high winds to today, Friday, and upgraded Saturday’s alert to orange for winds gusting to 90km/h particularly in the morning.
Updated 1 December: Aemet has now issued a yellow warning for strong winds gusting to 70 km/h throughout Tenerife, and drawn attention to its safety advice HERE. The alert is currently in place between 6am and 6pm on Saturday.
Updated 30 November: After a damp couple of days, as predicted, Aemet has forecast a “polar depression” arriving in the Canaries from Friday, bringing cold weather and strong winds especially in the medianías on Saturday, the day on which rain will also be most likely. The front will possibly be preceded by a warm current from the south over the next couple of days.
Updated 28 November: A squally front should begin to reach us this evening, bringing showers which will be heavy at times in various parts of Tenerife. The forecast isn’t all that clear at present, and will hopefully be clarified in coming hours, but at the moment it seems that Tuesday and Wednesday will be the main days for wet weather.
Updated 22 November: A cold front is arriving, bringing wind and rain, say meteorologists. The instability is due to a profound depression much further north, and it will be north of Tenerife which experiences the worst of this weather system. Aemet has, indeed, issued a yellow alert for rain in north Tenerife, and high winds elsewhere in the island today. Winds gusting up to 70km/h are expected, stronger in the north, with temperatures dropping some 5º, especially in the medianías. The present forecast suggests that these conditions will prevail throughout this week.
Updated 13 November: It looks like more wet weather might be arriving to Tenerife and the western islands from tomorrow. Aemet has announced a high-level isolated depression which means, basically, that despite a fair amount of uncertainty about what’s coming, there should be some rain, heavy at times, and possibly some quite stormy weather over Monday and Tuesday. No doubt there’ll be further updates.
Updated 6pm: And after the yellow alert for the south, west and east, it was the north and metropolitan areas which got the worst of it. Facebook is full of videos showing barrancos flowing rapidly, and the north airport with rain coming in through the light fittings, and cars washed away or flooded in car parks – the one below is less dramatic but shows an accurate picture of what it was like in La Laguna.
The torrential downpours were bad enough to warrant an orange alert to cover the whole island, but they were really only experienced in the north, and by the time the alert had been upgraded, the worst of the rain was over. Hopefully it will be fine for the marathon in Santa Cruz tomorrow!
Updated 5 November: As forecast, there have been patchy and occasionally heavy showers throughout Tenerife over the past 48 hours, particularly in the north and metropolitan areas, but today it is the south, west and east of the island which is on yellow alert for rain. The alert lasts until 11pm tonight.
Updated 3 November: Meteorologists are saying that the weather front is arriving today, and that north Tenerife can expect the first rains this afternoon and evening. No doubt there’ll be much more information over the coming hours and days, but for the moment, the picture below taken on the TF5 near La Laguna shows the clouds arriving this morning.
Updated 31 October: And the unsettled spell with its rains goes, and in its place we have a calima … and a forecast for another unsettled spell with rains for this coming weekend. Again there seems a great deal of agreement among the various models and meteorologists, all showing weather changing this coming Friday. More in the coming days, I’m sure.
Updated 28 October: The Canarian Government has ended its pre-alert for rains, and with the alert for costeros also already lifted, the weather system is moving away from the Canaries, leaving just a few days with broken cloud before we’re clear of it.
Updated 27 October: Even though it looks much brighter today after yesterday’s torrential rain, the Canarian Government has maintained its alert for rains today, though reducing the level to pre-alert since yesterday does seem to have been the worst day. The pre-alert status shows that the bands of this weather front are expected to stay with us, albeit weakening all the time, through the weekend.
Updated 26 October: The Canarian Government has maintained yesterday’s alert for rains with no finalization time currently in place. This morning parts of Tenerife have experienced torrential rain with thunder and lightning. Schools are closed today in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, though various extracurricular and sports activities have been cancelled in Tenerife schools. The present weather has left us with the winter season’s first snows on Teide, though, as the lovely photo above taken from above Icod de los Vinos shows.
Updated 25 October: To avoid confusion as far as Tenerife is concerned, the Canarian Government’s education department has announced that schools will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday 26 October, in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote only.
Updated 8pm: This evening the Canarian Government has issued an alert for rains, torrential at times, over the next day or so as the polar front continues its descent to these islands. The main rain is expected over the next 48 hours, and the alert becomes active at midnight tonight. The Government has also reiterated its advice to the public, which is always on THIS page, on how to stay safe in storms and heavy rain. And just to reiterate, there is no official announcement on schools closing, so they remain open.
Updated 1pm: The Canarian Government has now issued an alert for rough seas following advice from the Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias (DGSE) and the forecast with orange alert from Aemet. The Government’s alert applies the Plan Especifico de Emergencias de Canarias (PEFMA). The bottom line is that the seas are lethal, and the public should just stay out of the water for their own sake as well as the sakes of emergency services personnel who have to risk their own lives to carry out rescues that should be needless.
Updated 11am: This morning, a 50-year-old man has been pulled from the water by lifeboat crew battling serious sea conditions off La Puntilla, at the end of Playa de las Canteras in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. His condition is said to be serious, but he’s alive – and the emergency services had to risk their own lives to ensure his safety. Meanwhile, La Orotava and La Laguna Ayuntamientos have announced that they’re not taking any chances and have closed the municipalities’ beaches.
As I posted only yesterday, a woman nearly drowned in Puerto de la Cruz in rough seas, and since then Aemet has increased the alert for costeros to orange. Please be extremely careful in the sea, and have a look HERE on the risks that Tenerife’s waters can pose, and how to enjoy them safely, and HERE for how to stay safe in storms, including stormy seas, generally.
Updated 24 October: The Canarian Government’s education department has confirmed that schools have not been closed because of the weather, and that the “announcement” seen by many people on social media, supposedly from Economia, Hacienda and Seguridad, claiming that they are shut is a hoax. Naturally, any genuine announcement would come from the Consejería de Educación, not the economy department, and the only official announcement is that schools are open.
Updated 23 October: As forecast, the first weak wave of the polar front arrived from the north yesterday – the photo opposite from Eumetsat shows the extent of the weather system. The rains didn’t get further than north Tenerife, but they made themselves felt there, washing out the main Plaza del Charco in Puerto de la Cruz yesterday afternoon and causing the town to suspend last night’s Noche de Blanco shopping event – there is not yet a decision on whether it is postponed or cancelled.
Today, as the weather system continues to arrive, moderate to heavy showers should reach further south, perhaps leaving only the southern tip of the island with clear weather, though there is a yellow alert in place for rain in south, east and west Tenerife for tomorrow (see image below, click for full size). What should be noticeable even there, however, is the drop in temperatures associated with this “polar irruption”, which is forecast to be with us throughout much of the coming week.
While I’m posting about this, I’d like to reiterate the message in yesterday’s post HERE about a near drowning in Puerto de la Cruz. One aspect of this weather front is costeros (rough seas) with a 5m swell which Aemet has included in its alert – (image opposite). The sea will be rougher and colder than it might appear to a superficial glance. Please be extremely careful in the sea, and have a look HERE on the risks that Tenerife’s waters can pose, and how to enjoy them safely, and HERE for how to stay safe in storms, including stormy seas, generally.
Updated 19 October: There was quite a variation in the atmospheric models for last weekend’s weather, and in the end, those which said the rain would not reach us were correct. For this coming weekend, however, all the models appear to agree, and meteorologists are unanimous in forecasting rain from Saturday. At least one polar front is set to bring cold and wet weather as far south as the Canaries, it seems, as can be seen in the following animation from Efemérides Meteorológicas Canarias, and so rain and a significant drop in temperatures are just around the corner, it would appear.
Updated 17 October: Aemet says that yesterday’s and today’s hot weather is not a calima, even though it feels like it, but is air from high levels which has warmed as it descended – and this is why we have the calima effect but without the usual dust content. As part of this front, characterized by weak trade winds and low humidity, the rains that were expected were actually discharged to the west of the islands, as in the satellite image below. The rains didn’t materialise, and the current conditions seem set to be with us for the rest of the week. As to next weekend, that’s a forecast yet to come!
Updated 15 October: The first real weather front of the winter 2016-17 season started to be forecast earlier this week, with the main front arriving from this weekend. And on time, the Canarian Government has this morning issued a pre-alert, based on Met Office predictions, for high winds at altitude in Tenerife and La Palma. The alert comes into effect at 10am tomorrow, and no doubt there will be further updates on this weather system over the next few days. (Click the image opposite to see full size).
Original post 10 October: The first rains of winter 2016-17 could be with us any time from this Wednesday, meteorologists say. Some light rain could arrive midweek, though the approaching Atlantic weather front is due to bring heavier rain this weekend, particularly in the western islands, as can be seen in the animation below from Efemérides Meteorológicas Canarias. No doubt there will be updated forecasts over the next few days.