2012 winter rains in Tenerife

2012 winter rains in Tenerife

Update 7 November: North Tenerife and altitude is on orange alert for heavy rainfall, but already overnight the rains in the north have caused a fair amount of flooding and chaos on the roads with over 100mm/h falling.  The alert ends at 3pm this afternoon but as the forecasters said a little while ago, this unsettled weather is here for some time. It’s 186 years to the day since THIS storm.

Update 3 November 1pm: Damn, I wish I hadn’t said that “the storm passed largely without incident to person or property”. A climber died around 11.30pm last night after being overcome by rising waters in the Barranco de Carrizales in the Anaga area in Buenavista del Norte. Three companions were slightly injured. Bomberos had to climb down the barranco using ropes to tie themselves together and say it was a difficult rescue given the weather conditions, the terrain, and the darkness, and indeed it wasn’t until this morning when one of the group of four rang to say that the three survivors were getting out under their own steam that they were actually located. They report that their companion had been swept away. His body has now been recovered by the Guardia Civil’s mountain rescue helicopter.

Update 3 November: We seem to be approaching the end of this temporal now, with a yellow alert today for rain in Tenerife of up to 20mm an hour ending at midnight tonight. There is also a yellow alert for wind gusting to 80 km/h, but for tomorrow and Monday, there is a yellow alert only for wind at altitude, gusting to 70 km/h. The last several days’ rain has helped the drought situation enormously, with the authorities saying that Wednesday morning’s downpour alone put enough water in the reservoirs to last 3 months! It will have been a shame for those who came on holiday in this one week in particular: they can curse the most unlucky of timings. For us who needed the rain so badly, though, it has been a blessing, moreso because the storm passed largely without incident to person or property.

Update 31 October 11pm: Aemet has maintained its alert for tomorrow for rain in Tenerife, with up to 15mm per hour, 60mm in 12 hours, forecast. The heaviest rain should be over by mid-afternoon because the alert ends at 3pm. High winds are also forecast, gusting to 85 km/h, but at altitude. The alert for winds is for the whole of tomorrow and Friday, when the winds are expected to worsen at altitude.

Update 31 October 4pm: Avenida Anaga, the road to San Andres, has now been reopened.

Update 31 October 10.30am: As you’d expect with such torrential downpours, the Los Realejos fire is now extinguished.

Update 31 October: The above radar image from Aemet within the last quarter of an hour shows the situation – and that is that Tenerife is completely invisible for the rain! This morning’s emergency feed is absolutely littered with incidents ranging from road accidents, fallen cables and trees, collapsed walls, minor fires, etc., thankfully none of them major. The Los Realejos fire has been declared under control as of 8.15am, not least thanks to the heavy rain which has now started in the north- we have it in the west coast hills too. There are many reports of rockfalls, but the only road closure at the moment is the road to San Andres near Santa Cruz port. For flights, if anyone is travelling today, do check before leaving for the airport because there are already some 46 cancellations.


Update 30 October 11pm: The fire is now said to have been started by an electrical cable which had been blown down by the gales in north Tenerife today. The above video gives some idea of the fire this evening, which is still not under control.

Update 30 October 10pm: RTVC has confirmed that despite the Consejería de Educación’s decision to keep schools open tomorrow, Wednesday 31 October, some Ayuntamientos have decided for themselves to close schools. In Tenerife, these are: Guía de Isora, Buenavista, Los Silos, Garachico, Icod de los Vinos, San Juan de la Rambla, Puerto de la Cruza and La Orotava. There are also local reports of loudspeaker vans announcing Santiago del Teide schools are closed tomorrow.

Update 30 October 9.20pm: The Los Realejos Ayuntamiento has evacuated 200 people to the sports centre as a preventative measure due to the fire, which is now spreading due to the winds and is still out of control.

Update 30 October 8.30: The heaviest rain is expected to start in around half an hour’s time and last until midday tomorrow. It should take until the weekend, however, before it really begins to clear up. Throughout today, emergency services have been busy attending calls to traffic accidents, fallen trees, electrical cables and lampposts, collapsed walls, in the main in north Tenerife, and this evening, a major fire has broken out in the La Azadilla area in the the hills above the football ground in Los Realejos. Whether this was caused by a bolt of lightning is unclear at the moment, but bomberos are at the scene.

Update 30 October 6pm: It’s been announced by the Government’s Education Department that schools between Buenavista del Norte and Santa Cruz, as well as El Rosario and Fasnia will be closed tomorrow.

Update 30 October 1pm: The schools have been closed, and extracurricular activities halted, in Puerto de la Cruz. This is the only place in Tenerife under this ruling at the moment.

Update 30 October: As expected, the Aemet alert has been raised to Orange for tomorrow Wednesday. Rain of up to 30mm per hour is forecast, and some meteorologists are anticipating the warning could yet rise to red alert. The reason is clear from the second image above: the red (up to 100mm) is directly over the entire west coast of Tenerife, and the black dot (up to 300mm) is actually right over my house by the look of it!

Update 29 October 10.30pm: The Canarian Government has now issued an emergency alert for the weather front coming our way. The alert starts at midnight, and has not been given an end date. Its issue allows the Government to mobilize whatever human and material resources are needed for the protection of the public and property at risk from adverse weather conditions. (If anyone is interested in the Parliamentary decree that governs these alerts, the detail is HERE).

Update 29 October 9.30pm: There must be rumours that schools are cancelled tomorrow because 112 has just announced that, at least at the moment, schools remain open tomorrow.

Update 29 October 8pm: The detail is becoming clearer now that the storm is almost upon us, and the above Eumetsat image shows what’s approaching from the west. As expected, Aemet has activated an orange alert for winds gusting at altitude to 100 km/h, to 75 km/h elsewhere. High winds are expected from around 4am tonight/tomorrow morning and should last throughout tomorrow and Wednesday – which is as far as the immediate forecast goes at present. For rain, there is a yellow alert of up to 60 mm over a 12 hour period, but the forecast could see this increase to 100mm, at which point it is likely that the alert will be raised to orange. At present, the alert for rain is from around 9pm tomorrow evening until midday on Wednesday.

Update 29 October: I took the lid off our garden bin yesterday to measure the rain. It’s half full this morning! Over the last 24 hours, we have collected 31.5 cm (and that’s the decimal point in the right place!)! Today is forecast to be clear and pleasant, to be followed tomorrow and Wednesday by strong winds and heavy rain. Both wind and rain will be more pronounced at altitude, where an orange alert has been raised for winds gusting to 90 km/h. There is a yellow alert is in place for the rest of Tenerife, but meteorologists expect it to be raised imminently to orange for torrential rain on Wednesday.

Update 27 October: Well, the forecast has been confirmed, and the above picture shows the rain right over Tenerife tomorrow … and with quite a bit more to come between then and Wednesday! Here’s hoping!

According to the European Medium-Range forecasting centre (ECMWF), there could be some significant rainfall over the next week. The above still is taken from an animated sequence HERE; the Canaries are top left, and as the images show, the heaviest fall seems to be forecast for Wednesday 31st. If this forecast is accurate, rain should begin to arrive on Sunday. A considerable amount of it too!


  1. Sounds like a heck of a lot of cancellations already so early in the morning. Which airport is worst affected, anyone know?

  2. Author

    Worst is La Palma, I think.

  3. Query resolved. 46 cancellations yesterday, not today. I have friends on their way to Tenerife South this morning and I called them to warn them of cancallations. They have just returned the call after checking and say all is well at the airport.

  4. Author

    all is apparently well at La Palma too now. Binter, at least, is saying still to check, not least because many flights are delayed where they’re not cancelled, but that’s inter-island flights only, of course. Hope your friends arrive safely

  5. Author

    La Palma struggling again … aircraft can’t land because of winds. Check any local flights before setting off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.