Update 4pm: With the weather starting to clear up, as of 3pm the Tenerife Cabildo has deactivated its Plan Insular de Emergencias, and the Canarian Government has declared its alert for rains in La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera finalized. Aemet’s yellow alert remains in place for the whole of Tenerife until midnight, and in north Tenerife tomorrow. On Sunday there is a yellow alert in north Tenerife for both rain and rough seas (costeros).
Update 21 November: The Cabildo has said that the TF21 Teide access road via La Orotava is completely closed to traffic due to ice and snow: it’s the only road that’s completely closed. The Teide national park itself has a good covering of snow, said to be the earliest in at least the last five years. The met office says that there are various minor problems with overrunning drains but in Tenerife, no major issues. The islands which have come off worst in this temporal are La Palma and Gran Canaria; in Tenerife, the north has mainly been affected. Schools are open.
Update 10pm: The weather alert remains in place for tomorrow, though it has been downgraded to yellow. Some heavy rain is still expected, particularly in the north, though lessening as the day goes on. Schools remain open.
Update 4pm: Adeje Ayuntamiento has announced that following a meeting of Cecopal, the emergency coordination body, the weather-affected suspension of after-school activities has now been lifted. The council still advises the public to take great care in any outdoor activity, and to avoid long journeys. There will be another meeting of Cecopal tomorrow to look ahead to the weekend as a weather alert remains in place. As before, different councils will have their own measures in place, so local checks need to be made.
Update 12 noon: It shouldn’t really need saying, but clearly it does. Weather systems such as we have at present really do include rough seas. Even if it’s not logical, it’s just visible to the naked glance! Please take care with the sea, not least for the emergency services who have again been in action this morning rescuing someone swimming in Playa Paraiso … and the three kindhearted individuals who went in the water to try to help and who themselves got into difficulty. All are well. They could so easily have not been.
Update 20 November: Aemet says that this afternoon’s rains are likely to be very heavy, particularly in the north, and that there should be a general noticeable drop in temperature, particularly in the medianías. A south-westerly wind will pick up, again more noticeably in the medianías, and particularly at altitude. The Cabildo has confirmed that the TF31 Puerto de la Cruz access road via Martiánez has been reopened. Schools remain open.
Update 2pm: Aemet has given an update, in which the met office says that the period of marked instability will probably be with us until Sunday 23rd. Today’s front bringing rain and low temperatures is quite active, resulting in scattered heavy showers, being persistent in some areas. The front is currently displacing eastwards.
The major depression that is still forming near the archipelago will maintain this instability over the next few days, which means it remains highly likely that there will be scattered rainfall, locally heavy in some places, with high winds. Aemet says that the uncertainty over how and where the depression develops means that it cannot predict more specifically the areas which will be affected.
The situation should start to stabilize from Monday.
Update 19 November: After the rains overnight, continuing this morning, the Cabildo has confirmed the situation in Tenerife is relatively normal, with just the TF31 closed, the Puerto de la Cruz access road via Martiánez. Other roads are affected by surface water and rockfalls, so the Cabildo requests drivers to proceed with caution, and ideally not to travel unless essential. Rainfall is described as “moderate”, more intense in the north than the south. Schools remain open. More rain to come as the week progresses.
Update 8pm: The Tenerife Cabildo has activated its Plan Territorial Insular de Emergencias de Tenerife (PEIN). The emergency plan is being put in place on a preventative basis in view of the Canarian Government’s storm alert. Tenerife president Carlos Alonso signed the decree at 8pm, and so all open-air activities, like excursions, tourist visits, and sports activities, are suspended, and recreational and camping areas are closed.
The plan also allows for special protection measures for any public works being undertaken by the Cabildo, and for the security of structures at risk from high winds. Insular services are being reinforced in preparation for the weather front which is said to be affecting La Palma already.
Update 18 November: Aemet’s alert has now been raised to orange from midnight tonight for rain of up to 30mm an hour in Tenerife and the north of Gran Canaria.
Update 17 November: The Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias has now issued an alert for rains in the western islands from 4pm tomorrow, Tuesday for the western islands, extending to the whole archipelago from midnight.
Aemet’s own alert is for heavy rain and high winds from 4pm tomorrow, saying that the coming weather system comprises successive fronts of a deep depression. The Met Office’s forecast is for generalized rain, and lots of it, accompanied by very strong winds. Aemet says that of the first two fronts, the first is “very active”, with persistent and locally torrential rain. It will affect the Canaries from tomorrow afternoon until Thursday night, moving slowing west to east.
The second stronger front will start to affect us almost immediately, but with the depression forming near the islands it is as yet unclear where it will be centred. As such it is not yet possible to know exactly how severe it will be, or where exactly it will be centred. Aemet said, however, that it is very likely that we will get a storm, with at the least locally torrential rain and very strong winds.
Update 16 November: Meteorologists are now saying that they can virtually confirm that the main front expected on Tuesday will be with us on Wednesday, and that there will be “substantial” rainfall. They also say, though, that the second part of the borrasca which could remain with us to the weekend will be a “copybook storm”. They stress that they do not wish to cause alarm, and say that the forecast is subject to some development because things can change somewhat over the course of the whole week. None the less, if things remain as they seem at present, Wednesday will be bad, but Friday and Saturday will be much worse.
Original post 14 November: We had the first real rains of winter last month (link), and if forecasts remain as they are, we will shortly have the first “borrasca”. The position will no doubt become clearer over the next several days, but the low pressure front is currently looking set to approach the Canaries from the west next week, with high winds and heavy and persistent rains from Tuesday 18th. As things stand, the weather could settle until Sunday 23rd. More info and clarity in due course, I’m sure.