calima (860 x 338)

Photo: Aemet’s Ruben del Campo.

Update 20 December: And the rain seems to be on its way tomorrow. Aemet has issued a yellow alert for rain, and as we all know, a yellow alert is not for torrential, nor universal, rain, but the alert covers the whole of Tenerife, and so some places tomorrow will get some rain, and in some of those, the rain will be quite heavy. And with some rain, heavy at times, there could yet be snow on Teide for Christmas!

Original post 13 December: An incredible photo, above, taken yesterday by Ruben del Campo from the Izaña observatory, showing the calima that has been with us in varying intensity now for the last two weeks, leading to the driest November and start of December for 23 years. As the photo shows, there is a clear line above which the sky is beautiful and deep blue, but at the level of the medianías and below, the air has a high particle count. On days when it’s not so dense, it seems like a beautiful summer day, but the daytime temperatures, the blustery wind, the colder nights, and what doctors are saying are record numbers of patients presenting with breathing problems – the result of the extremely low humidity as much as the dust in the air – all expose the calima for what it is.

The cause is the usual Azores depression, which blocks the trade winds from the north, and which is particularly common at the change of one season to another. And it will be with us for another week or so they say, until Thursday, perhaps even Sunday, when it looks like being replaced with moister and cooler air. It could be that it will be quite a bit moister, in fact, with rain said to be possible over Christmas. Meanwhile, please have a read HERE for advice on staying safe when the air is so compromised, and see a doctor immediately if experiencing any symptoms caused by the calima.


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