Red sky at morning …

Red sky at morning …

Photo copyright Tracey Hampshire
Photo copyright Tracey Hampshire

Update 16 December: The Teide access roads through Vilaflor, Chio and La Orotava are now all open to two-way traffic. The TF24 La Esperanza road remains closed.

Update 14 December: Anyone who would like to take advantage of the opening of the Teide access roads to the public but who doesn’t want to drive can go by bus. Titsa has announced a special route – Teide Nevado – bus number 342, which will offer four journeys between the Costa Adeje bus station and the Parador. The bus will leave the Costa Adeje terminal on the hour between 9.15 and 12.15, and return from the Parador from 3.30 to 5pm – the point at which the access roads will be closed by the Guardia Civil – on a half hourly basis.

Update 10pm: To clarify those roads for access to Teide: the Chio and Vilaflor roads will be two-way to the Teleférico. Once past that, the road is one-way only – down to La Orotava.

Update 8pm: IES Guaza and CEIP La Cumbrita in Guía de Isora will reopen this Monday, 16 December. Teide access roads remain closed. President Alonso says that Teide access will be opened tomorrow between 9am and 5pm only. For the time being, and while risks remain and carriageway repair works continue, access will be exclusively by via Vilaflor and Chio, though for access to the north motorists will be able to drive down via La Orotava. The La Esperanza route remains closed. The TF21 (Humbolt) is now open.

Update 13 December: Arona Ayto has announced a planned electricity cut in Playa de las Américas for council works between 8 and 11am.

Roads remaining closed:

Teide acess roads until further notice – the Cabildo says “the situation is complicated up there”.

TF-616 Las Lajas/Punta Prieta; TF-445 Punta de Teno; TF-21 PK1 zona mirador de Humbolt.

Update 9pm:

Roads closed as of this evening:

Teide access roads remain out of bounds, as are TF616 Punta Prieta and TF445 Punta Teno.

TF-631 pk 3 Playa de la Jaca
TF82 pk29 between Chío and Tamaimo (one lane)
TF 532 Fasnia-La Zarza
TF-28 various points (carretera general del Sur)
TF66 pk11 El Fraile roundabout

Update 8.30pm:

Several places in Tenerife registered over 100 litres per square metre in 24 hours. These are they, with San Miguel holding the record!

San Miguel, 168
Los Silos, 166,6
Arona, 158
Taucho, 149
Garachico, 126
Adeje, 122,8
Arico, 122,8
Candelaria, 122,4
Anaga 108,5

Update 5.45pm: It’s been a torrid few days, but just look at the storm’s parting gift. El Teide, in all its wonderful glory! With many thanks to Tracey Hampshire for sharing her fantastic view!

Update 5pm: Adeje has announced that it is deactivating Cecopal (the Centro de Coordinación Operativa de Emergencias – municipal emergency coordination centre), and that normal municipal activity will resume from tomorrow, including in the school of music and dance, people’s University, sports, municipal nursery, day and disability centres, etc. The council confirmed that the Christmas market planned in its Christmas programme for tomorrow in the Plaza Cesar Manrique, and the inauguration of the Belén de Los Olivos, etc. will take place as scheduled. The La Caleta Residents Association event remains suspended, however: it has been postponed to next Thursday, 19 December.

Update 2.45: Schools update: Tenerife schools open tomorrow with the exception of IES Guaza and CEIP La Cumbrita in Guía de Isora. Tamaimo will be able to open.

Update 2.30pm: Playa San Juan and Fonsalía are without tap water today after 100m of a pipe was damaged by a banana plantation wall which collapsed onto it last evening’s rains. The pipe could not be repaired last night because weather conditions were so difficult and access was impossible, but repair works started this morning. Supplies are expected to be reinstated at some point today. Meanwhile, Guía de Isora Ayuntamiento has set up four water tanks so that residents can get free drinking water supplies. One of the tanks is in Fonsalía, and the other three are in Playa San Juan itself – one in the plaza, another in urbanización Salinas de Fonsalía and the last near the Guardia Civil in Calle El Velero. A water lorry is also driving around the area to attend to any surplus demand.

Update 2pm: The Department of Education has announced the reopening of Tenerife’s schools tomorrow (Friday), with the exception of IES Guaza, CEIP La Cumbrita and IES Tamaimo.

Update noon: Adeje Ayuntamiento has suspended all extra curricular educational, cultural and sporting activities this afternoon. The weather is forecast to start to improve from 2pm but the council decided to inspect all the centres and sports pavilions etc, to assess and damage caused by the bad weather before allowing them to be used again by the public. As a result, there will be no classes in the Municipal School of Music and Dance, in the People’s University, nor in any of the borough’s sporting installations, nor will any cultural or leisure based activities be held. The La Caleta Residents Association have also confirmed that the planned event tomorrow (Friday 13 December to collect toys and non-perishable goods for families in need has been suspended.

Update 11.30am: The “record” for rain yesterday seems to be 166 liltres per square metre in Los Silos which the municipality’s mayor says has turned some roads in the area into barrancos. Mayor Martín says that Los Silos’ old people say they have never known it rain so heavily for so long.

Update 10am: Road information this morning from the Cabildo:

Teide access roads remain out of bounds, as are TF616 Punta Prieta and TF445 Punta Teno.

The following roads are currently also closed, with highway teams working to get them open asap:

TF-1 junction and access to Las Galletas at Guaza
TF-631 pk 3 Playa de la Jaca
TF-28 pk 60+900 (carretera general del Sur), Arico, Los Gavilanes area (diversion available)
TF-532 pk 1+500 y 2+050 Fasnia-La Zarza (one lane)
TF-31 access to Puerto de la Cruz via Martiánez
TF-1 Hoya Fría roundabout (one lane)
TF-436 Masca only passable to Los Carrizales

The Cabildo says that throughout last night some 50 incidents have needed to be dealt with, principally through rockfalls and rubble on carriageways. The Cabildo’s road teams are working literally around the clock to get Tenerife moving freely again.

The above is information about roads for which the Cabildo is responsible. These are, generally, main trunk roads within Tenerife. There will be further closures at a local level within towns and villages where Ayuntamientos are responsible for roads. These are too numerous to detail, but local Ayuntamientos do generally keep the public updated about which roads are affected.

Update 12 December: As of 9am, the red alert was indeed reduced to orange, and it will be reduced still further to yellow at midday. As things stand, that yellow alert will itself be lifted at midnight, leaving Friday with no alert at all. Fingers crossed.

Update 11pm: The Government has changed its mind about opening schools tomorrow after Aemet extended the red alert for Tenerife for continued adverse weather conditions until 9am tomorrow (Thursday) morning, and the Tenerife Cabildo advised that it couldn’t guarantee the state of the roads in this island. Despite the late hour, the announcement has been made that schools will after all remain closed on Thursday, 12 December. In all other islands, schools will reopen tomorrow as the Government originally advised, but they will stay closed in Tenerife (official announcement HERE).

Update 9pm: The Government has confirmed that the red alert will be downgraded from midnight, as expected, to orange. The weather system is still with us, but the worst seems to be over. In Tenerife North airport, a flight from La Palma, flight number NT169, skidded on the runway closing the airport for a while. All is now getting back to normal, and the 51 passengers and 4 crew on board were unharmed. Just to confirm, again, the Canarian Government has confirmed that schools are open tomorrow. It is possible that some schools will decide to remain closed because of specific local conditions or damage suffered today, but that will be an individual decision and any schools making this decision will notify the affected parents directly.

Update 6.45: The Canarian Government has announced that schools will reopen tomorrow (Thursday) in the western islands and Gran Canaria, where they had been closed during the red alert today. Meanwhile, although Aemet’s red alert stays in place until midnight,  the Canarian Government itself has lifted its maximum alert for winds and rains. This is going to be with us until Friday, but the worst is almost over.

Update 5.20pm: Cabildo press conference –

Tenerife President Carlos Alonso said that more than 80 interventions had been necessary throughout today, with some 500 workers involved in keeping Tenerife going. The principal problem was that of a rescue of an adult and baby in the Guaza tunnel – these are now fortunately safely back at home. Sr Alonso confirmed that the record rainfall for Tenerife was 100 litres per square metre measured in Las Galletas. He said that electricity had been temporarily lost off and on in various parts of the island throughout the day but that the outages in Los Silos and Buenavista were now reestablished.

Anyone with any concerns about roads should not hesitate to call the Centro de Información de Carreteras on 900 210 131. Many roads are now able to be reopened, albeit in some cases with partial blockages, but the National Park access roads, the TF 616 (Punta Prieta) and the Punta de Teno road remain closed to traffic. The Cabildo president paid tribute to roads teams who had worked throughout the storm, making a great effort and without rest, he said. He paid tribute too to the environmental teams and bomberos who had taken part in rescue and maintenance operations.

Update 5pm: TF1 junctions at Guaza and Las Américas are now open. With regard to schools tomorrow, the Education Department has said the announcement that schools are closed until further notice is still in place. They will decide in due course whether they will open tomorrow, and make a formal announcement at that point. I will post when that happens.

Update 2pm: The Tenerife Cabildo has said there will be a press conference at 5pm to give an official statement on how Tenerife is being affected by the temporal. Meanwhile the following roads have been closed, either because of water, or damage, or prohibition:

Guaza TF1 junction
Las Américas TF1 junction southbound
TF 66 Las Galletas/El Fraile at PK11
TF28 La Centinela (Arona) at PK85
TF655 Guaza service road
TF 481 Las Américas at PK3 (one carriage only)
Las Cañadas access roads TF21 & TF24
TF 445 Teno
TF 616 Punta Prieta

Meanwhile the Canarian Government has confirmed that the maximum alert remains in place because the heaviest period of rain which caused the red alert is now starting. It is expected to intensify between now and midnight. The Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias says that it is considering widening the alert: more on that if or when it’s announced.

Binter says many flights affected though there has not been a blanket cancellation. Some European flights also diverted or delayed. Airlines say to check a flight’s status before travelling to the airport to fly.

Update 1pm: I’ve now been asked many times about a rumour running wild of planned electricity cut at 5pm in Tenerife for “works” or “preventative measures” due to the storm. I can confirm, direct from Endesa, that the rumour is “totally false”.

Update 11 December:  Despite rumours which as always are rife on social networks, the storm has not “passed early”, “just returned”, or anything similar: the weather front we were told to expect involved rain from yesterday to this Friday, with today as the worst day.

The Tenerife Cabildo has announced it is closing down administrative functions at 11am while the island awaits the rains for which the red alert has been put in place and which are expected between midday and midnight today. President Alonso said that emergency services were on standby, and confirmed a Cabildo team of some 500 ready for any contingency. The Cabildo reiterated the Government’s advice to the public, both residents and holidaymakers, to remain indoors and not to venture outside except in exceptional or emergency situations.

Overnight there was a complete blackout in La Palma as the storm passed there. Electricity is now gradually being restored on the island. Already in Tenerife ahead of the main rains, floods are being reported, with the following incredible photos of the Guaza-TF1 junction and tunnel appearing widely on twitter and facebook – confirmed by police and Cabildo as being true photos. Needless to say, all yesterday’s official statements remain in force until further notice – so schools are closed, access to the national park and barrancos banned, public told to stay at home, and so on.


Update 5pm: Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga has activated Cecopal (the Centro de Coordinación Operativa de Emergencias – municipal emergency coordination centre) and essentially closed the council and all its official and municipal acts. Mayor Fraga said the decision allowed for better reaction to the weather situation and coordination with other emergency organizations. He urged the public to remain calm, and follow official advice and instructions. These include staying at home and avoiding all but essential travel. Adeje’s tourism authorities have sent a communication to the entire hotel sector about the weather alert and the cancellation of outdoor and excursion activities, and have recommended that tourists remain indoors in their holiday accommodation.

Update 4pm: HERE is the official announcement from the Canarian Government that all state schools in the western province are closed until further notice. Meanwhile, various councils, including Adeje and Arona, have announced the suspension of all municipal activities. The Cabildo in Tenerife has also banned the public from the national park and barrancos generally, and has advised the public to stay at home and avoid all but essential travel.

Update 3pm: The Canarian Government has confirmed that schools in the western islands and Gran Canaria are closed tomorrow. The Teide National Park for its part has confirmed that access roads will be closed from 5pm until further notice: these are the TF21, TR24 and TF38. These are the roads up to El Portillo from La Orotava and La Laguna, and the Boca Tauce-Chio road.

Update 11.30am: Red alerts for torrential rain are now being issued by Aemet. In La Palma, the alert is for today from 6pm and overnight. Tenerife is on red alert  for 60 mm per square metre of rain between midday and midnight tomorrow, Wednesday 11 December. The forecast says that mainly the east and northeast areas of Tenerife will be affected.

Update 10 December: I’ve seen some pretty freakish stories about the “hurricane” that’s about to hit us, some of them with pictures of a full-blown spiral of clouds with the characteristic hurricane’s eye … and they are false. No-one is going to deny that we have some weather coming, and it has been known for a week that it will be bad from tonight. Quite how bad it will be seems to be under constant review – this is weather, after all, but a hurricane it is not. The current very windy conditions, with rain from tonight, are forecast to last until Friday. The picture below is the actual current weather front.

Eumetsat image courtesy of Aemet
Eumetsat image courtesy of Aemet

Update 9pm: As usual, the Canarian Government has issued advice sheets in view of the approach of significant weather. It is HERE in Spanish, HERE in English. The pre-alert has now been upgraded to a maximum alert and state schools throughout Tenerife are closed from 3pm tomorrow.

Update 9 December: The combination of the cyclone forming to the west (and moving away from us) and the approaching front bringing rain tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday seems to be behind high winds that have now resulted in Aemet yellow alerts in the western islands, and orange in La Palma. The Government itself has issued a pre-alert from 10am this morning for winds gusting to 100 km/h. The winds will still be here by Wednesday, when the rain arrives …

Update 8 December: The front heading for us that was said to be bringing “significant weather” in the middle of next week appears to be weakening. Meteorologists say that although they will continue to monitor it closely, it does now seem that it won’t be at all as severe as previously feared.

Update 6.30pm: The TF1 is like a river in the Guimar area … a huge amount fallen in a few minutes. And now the forecast (orange alert) is for 100mm this evening between now and midnight in south, east and west Tenerife.

Update 6 December: There has been quite a bit of speculation in the press and on social networks about a “hurricane in formation” to the west of the Canaries which was notified by the National Hurricane Centre in Miami. This had just a 20% chance of forming into a tropical storm, and was very unlikely to affect us even if so – the NHC is in Miami because that’s where hurricanes head after starting in our area. All that really needs to be said about it is that this weekend’s weather is an indirect effect of this system. which is today said to be weakening still further.

What is strengthening, however, is the front that was already forecast for the middle of next week. That is heading east and gaining force as it does so. There is nothing to suggest at present that it will bring conditions worse than last weekend, but official and amateur meteorologists are following it closely. Clearly we’re going to have some weather worth reporting next Wednesday or so.

Update 5 December: It’s not over yet. More rain is forecast for this weekend, though not torrential: Aemet has activated a yellow alert for up to 15mm (15 litres per square meter) from 6pm today in La Palma and El Hierro, and from midnight in Tenerife and La Gomera. The alert lasts until 7pm tomorrow, Friday. Not too bad, generally speaking, but Wednesday and Thursday look set, at present, to come close to repeating the other day’s torrential downpours. More information on this, no doubt, over the next few days.

Update 2 Dec. 8pm: Apart from the school closures announced for Güímar, the Canarian Government has confirmed that classes continue as normal throughout Tenerife tomorrow.

Update 5pm: Güímar mayor Carmen Luisa Castro has announced that classes have been cancelled in CEIP Alfonso X y el el IES Mencey Acaymo. in the municipality tomorrow because of flooding caused by today’s torrential downpours. Agache also has classes cancelled as a precaution.

Update 3.45pm: Arona Ayuntamiento has just set up an emergency helpline which will be in place between 4pm today and 8am tomorrow morning. The line is for an emergency coordination centre, and the public is asked to call 092 from within the municipality (922725562 from outside) if they have any particular problem due to the weather.

Update 3pm: Arona has announced suspension of sports and outdoor activities, apart from the public swimming pool, for today due to the weather. Similar cancellations announced by Candelaria, Santa Úrsula, Arafo, Güímar, Guía de Isora and Santa Cruz Ayuntamientos. Schools remain open …

Update 2.30pm: Adeje – all council organised sports and cultural activities for this afternoon have been suspended due to the weather. Further information in due course.

The TF1 is like a river in parts, and Cabildo urges caution because of rockfalls in various parts. The junction for Punta Prieta (Güímar) is closed.

Update 2 December: Aemet has raised the yellow alert for rain in Tenerife to orange level for this afternoon between midday and 6pm. Some 30mm per hour of torrential is forecast over the island generally but mainly in the east. This evening and overnight returns to yellow alert, with up to 20mm per hour forecast for the whole of Tenerife.

Update 8.3opm: The Canarian Government has released an advice sheet for heavy rains HERE (HERE is the English version). They stress that despite the forecast, schools remain open.

Original post 1 December: The old saying is “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky at morning, shepherd’s warning“, and if this morning is anything to go by, the forecasters could be right when they talk about a “significant amount” of rain tomorrow. The forecast lasts for the whole of next week, indeed, and a yellow alert is already in place between today and Tuesday: as ever, this could be extended into the latter part of the week, or increased to orange level. For the moment, it’s calm, and that sky really is beautiful …



  1. I always thought last week of November and first week of December were the rainy weeks so right on time. Good luck all xxx

  2. This isn’t good for me, I work in a pool bar !

  3. Author

    I think there’ll quite a few “pool bars” by the end of the week …. 😀

  4. hello janet is all the schools shut tomorrow our daughter goes to las galletas school x

  5. Author

    No, it’s just those that have been announced for Güímar municipality.

  6. ok thanks x

  7. Red Sky in the afternoon, Shepherd’s pie for dinner? 😉

  8. I am so sorry that the Island has been hit with these terrible storms I hope every one obeys the authority’s and stays safe

  9. Janet Do you or does anyone else know how much of the TF24 La Esperanza road remains closed? We drove up and came in from the other end past Teide and you can get as far as the observatory but then the road is closed. Such a lovely route so wondered about coming from the other direction?

  10. Author

    Yes, it does, Mandy. In the recent storms, it was physically damaged, so the problem wasn’t just ice.

  11. Thanks Janet, guessed it must be bad for them to close if for this long, seen lots of repairs everywhere else and was impressed how quickly some have been done, so thought that road must have been damaged pretty badly. On way home now but back in February so hopefully it will be open when we come back.

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