Update 19 August: The Cabildo has lifted its ban on mountain activities, and all weather alerts are terminated too. All is now back to normal.
Update 17 August: The end of the heatwave will come too late, tragically, for a 43-year-old woman who died around 2pm this afternoon from heatstroke in the sadly very appropriately named barranco de Las Angustias in the El Paso area of La Palma. Emergency services were called out to the barranco with reports that she had fallen but despite their assistance, she suffered a heart attack which has been attributed to the heat. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate her, but were sadly unable to bring her back and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Update 17 August: It’s on its way out, at last. Throughout the course of this evening and tomorrow we will finally see temperatures start to go down. The above picture shows the fresher air ploughing straight down from the cooler north to displace the African hot air that has been settled over us for about the last ten days. Hallelujah!
Update 13 August: More quickly than I hoped, the orange alert has thankfully been reduced to yellow. The heatwave will still be with us, it seems, until the weekend, but not at the severe intensity of the last few days.
Update 12 August: And the orange alert for the whole of Tenerife has now been extended up to including Wednesday.
Update 11 August: The orange alert, which now applies to the whole of Tenerife including the north, has been extended up to and including Tuesday.
Update 10 August: The calima that is arriving right now is clearly visible in the above Eumetsat image from Aemet.
Update 3pm: The alert has already been raised for Tenerife. From Sunday it is now at orange level for temperatures up to 38º.
Update 9 August: Not just a warm weekend. The heatwave that’s coming our way tomorrow is said to be “intense” and expected to last until Thursday next week at least. At present, although hot, we have trade winds cooling the air somewhat. From tomorrow, the wind will shift so that it’s coming from the east. There won’t be any relief: la bestia (“the beast” from Africa) is returning. With this, of course, comes a fire risk that is now said to be “extreme” – as in the above warning graphic from Aemet. Political and meteorological authorities have begged the public to maintain the utmost awareness and to take the utmost caution to avoid fire in the tinderbox that we’ll be living in for the next week or so.
Update 8 August: It’s going to be a warm weekend, with south Tenerife on yellow alert for temperatures to 34º. The alert is currently active until 9pm Saturday evening, but as often, it’s likely to be extended. Please do take care in the heat and bear in mind the safety recommendations below.
Update 13 July: At last we can say it is beginning to cool down. It won’t be all that noticeable today in Tenerife, and indeed it could feel very hot indeed in parts, but the yellow alert for temperatures to 34º has been lifted from today. The heat will gradually begin to disperse, and will be noticeable, really, from Monday.
Update 9 July: The Cabildo has issued a fire ban for the duration of the heatwave. It applies to BBQs, agricultural or forestal burning, bonfires, use of machinery or tools which could cause sparks (e.g. brushcutters or welding equipment) in agricultural or forested areas, and, of course, fireworks in areas at risk, i.e. near anything that could catch light and propagate. The Cabildo also asked the public for its cooperation in avoiding forest areas during the heatwave. The insular Servicio Técnico de Gestión Territorial Forestal e Incendios is already on alert in case of fire.
Update 3pm: Aemet has issued an aviso especial – special warning – for the coming heatwave, which is now forecast to last between a week and ten days, starting in the Canaries this coming Tuesday with temperatures in excess of 35º. The aviso is above – for the full size version click HERE.
Original post 4 July: I know it’s summer and we can expect it to be hot, but a particular Saharan weather front is heading our way making temperatures rise above 35º from Tuesday, with the increase noticeable as early as this Sunday. No doubt there will be varios coloured alerts in due course from Aemet, but all we need to know is that it’s going to be very hot, especially in the medianías and the south of Tenerife. The heatwave is expected to last at least several days to a week, and so it’s worth reiterating the health advice issued by the health department for summer wellbeing.
Sanidad says that the symptoms of being heat-affected include fainting or lightheadedness, nausea, and palpitations. Children might become irritable and lose their appetite. The Health department says that with calimas, too, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, and particularly those with respiratory problems should take extra care, and advise anyone feeling any symptoms to try to cool themselves immediately, drink water, and if they do not feel better very quickly, to seek medical help.
General advice to protect from sun and heat is:
- to stay in places shaded from the sun and in the cooler rooms
- to keep the blinds down during sunlight hours
- to open windows overnight to cool dwellings
- to use fans or air conditioning to cool the environment where possible
- to be careful of dramatic temperature variations when changing environments
- to avoid direct sunlight, and if going out is inevitable, wear a cap or a hat, and lightweight, light coloured clothing, and try to walk through shaded areas or with an umbrella for protection, taking breaks in cool places
- to carry water always and sip it frequently
- not to leave children or elderly people inside a closed car
- to avoid strenuous activities in the central hours of the day
- to eat light meals and refreshments rich in water and mineral salts, such as fruits and vegetables, which help to replenish salts lost by sweating
- not to drink alcoholic beverages
- to help others, particularly those who might be sick or old people, living alone
- to consult a doctor if you are taking medication that can influence your body’s ability to regulate temperature
- to call 112 for any information