Graphic: Aemet Canarias.
Updated 19 March: The unsettled spell looks as though the worst is over, with Güímar and Los Realejos in particular yesterday getting the heaviest downpours. The observatory at Izaña woke this morning to a snowy scene, and the Cabildo’s Roads Department says that the TF-24 and TF-21 access roads (from the north) to Teide are closed because of snow and ice on the carriageway, and the TF-31 (Martiánez) access to Puerto de la Cruz is also closed.
Updated 18 March: The rain has arrived in parts of the north as forecast, with more to come and heavier than anticipated. Also as forecast, it arrives as snow about 2,200m. This video of snow on Teide this morning is from Volcano Teide, the official National Park tourism organization.
— Volcano Teide (@VolcanoTeide) 18 March 2017
Updated 4pm: The unsettled spell that has been forecast for a week has now caused Aemet to issue a yellow alert, and the Canarian Government to issue a prealert, for rain throughout the Canaries from 9am tomorrow, Saturday 18 March. Rain is not expected to be particularly heavy but some areas in Tenerife could experience downpours.
Updated 17 March: As forecast, the spell of unstable weather has arrived, and has brought with it some snow on Teide above 2,000m. Thank goodness the cable car breakdown happened when it did because 24 hours later people would have been stranded in very cold conditions indeed! Drivers in the area are urged to take extra care, and some of the access roads to Teide, through El Portillo and Arafo, for example, have been closed because of snow and ice.
Updated 14 March: The Canarian Government has lifted its alerts for high winds and wild seas around the western islands including Tenerife. Aemet says that after last week’s calima, and the forceful return of the alisios (trade winds) over the last couple of days bringing strong winds in parts and rough waves, today and tomorrow are days of transition before an unstable weather system arrives on Thursday. This will bring rain to some areas, though the likely extent and severity is still under assessment. No doubt there will be more information in coming hours and days. What is clear, however, is that the system, like the alisios, is coming from the north, so that will be the first to see any effects.
Updated 3pm: The Canarian Government has issued its own alert now for gales and wild seas tomorrow. The Government asks the public to take the utmost precautions to stay safe, and for people to familiarise themselves with the recommended safety advice, which I’ve outlined in English HERE.
Meanwhile, double-check any planned trips or events to make sure they’re still going ahead over the next day or so because things sometimes are postponed, cancelled or closed with these alerts. For example, the Teleférico is often closed temporarily in high winds, and the Teno access has been closed while this alert is in place, and of course, please take extra special care in the sea. One thing that has not been cancelled, however, is school: classes continue until specific notice from the Education Department.
Updated 12 March: As expected, temperatures have dropped a few degrees, enough to be noticeable, and will continue to fall over coming hours. As also expected, however, the wind is the main factor, with forecast gusts of up to 90km/h seeing Aemet raise alerts, rising to orange in Tenerife tomorrow, for winds and costeros (wild waves). The conditions are expected to last until Tuesday.
Updated 10 March: Today should be the hottest day of this calima, which has thankfully not been quite as thick with dust-laden air as originally expected. These abnormally high Spring temperatures should begin to reduce from tomorrow, however, and by Sunday, temperatures could have dropped by as much as 10º, meteorologists say.
Updated 9 March: The full effects of this first calima of 2017 will start to be felt today, with the west and north in particular feeling the wind, but everywhere experiencing the heat. Today and tomorrow seem set to be the hottest days, with the heatwave starting to disperse on Sunday.
Aemet has raised a yellow alert for calima, and the Canarian Government has issued a prealert, both being intended to raise awareness of the problems this weather phenomenon can cause. Please see HERE for staying safe in heatwaves, with calimas being a particular problem for those with respiratory conditions, and HERE for staying safe in the sea because with the calima winds, the sea becomes rougher than usual, at a time when the heat tempts people more than ever to go in to cool off.
Original post 7 March: The first real warm spell of 2017 is about to be upon us, with meteorologists forecasting some high winds arriving today bringing a light calima from the east along with a considerable rise in temperatures. The increasing warmth will be most notable in the medianías and at altitude, and especially in the south and south-east of the island, where 30º or so is possible. One of the main features over the next 24 hours or so, however, is likely to be the wind, but the warm spell is set to be with us until at least Thursday evening.