Stormy weather approaching Canaries

Stormy weather approaching Canaries

Update 3pm: All Teide access roads now open. Let the snowball-on-the-car competitions begin!

Update 5 March: The Cabildo says that teams are working intensively to clear up as the storm passes now over to the eastern islands, and that they hope to get all roads passable again today. Teide access roads are closed with snow at high levels – the above picture has just been released by the Cabildo.

There are reports that there has been a fairly major problem with water  supply in the Playa San Juan and Alcalá areas due to a breakage in supply pipes. I’ll update if there’s any more on this, but it can be assumed that they are working on it.  In the same area, there has once again been damage to PSJ beach despite the restoration works that were done after previous damage with the intention to avoid precisely that which has occurred again. There will be cleanup and repair works yet again on this beach, sadly.

In Los Cristianos, the Ports Authority has reopened the harbour which returns to normality except for Naviera Armas, which can’t operate because of the rough sea.

Update 9pm: The Government has ended the emergency plan, and schools are open again tomorrow.

Update 5.30pm: The squalls of high winds and very heavy rain are set to continue this evening, but the forecast is for significant improvement tomorrow, albeit still with gusty wind and some rain. The Government is to give a press conference shortly when it is likely to announce whether schools will remain closed tomorrow.

Update 4 March: Well this morning looks a bit battered, but Tenerife is still here! Some 7,000 have been affected by power cuts, particularly in the south-west, notably in the municipalities of Granadilla, Guía de Isora, San Miguel and Arico. Endesa says that it is working on getting everyone reconnected as soon as possible.

Fred Olsen says that its Los Cristianos ferries are inoperative, with only its Playa Blanca (Lanzarote – Corralejo (Fuerteventura) route operative in all the Canaries. The  Tenerife – Gran Canaria line is cancelled until at least 1pm depending on the sea and the Aagaete harbour. The Los Cristianos – La Gomera line is cancelled, pending developments in the situation at Los Cristianos. All La Palma routes are cancelled for the moment, but the 7pm ferry to La Palma is expected to depart if circumstances in both ports permits.

Neither TFN and TFS closed yesterday, and are again open today, though operating with some disruption. Official advice is to check all flights with individual carriers in case any are  affected.

The TF21 Teide access road from La Orotava is closed again because of ice on the carriageway, while in the south, the police say that drivers must take extreme care because of rockfalls and tree debris. In Playa de las Américas, one car has been flattened by a palm tree that was blown over onto its roof.

Aemet has kept its red alert for winds at altitude in place for today, and the government is maintaining its emergency plan status; there will be a government press conference at 11am to update further, but things really look as though this storm is now calming down and moving gradually away from us. At its worst, gusts of an incredible 200 km/h were measured. The sea is likely to be extremely rough for some days, though, so great care is needed around the coasts.

 

Update 11pm: It’s been absolutely wild up here, and between 9 and 10pm, right on time according to the forecast, we had two bouts of incredibly heavy rainfall (and a few blackouts too) but we seem to have a lull right now. From the forecast, it appears that the worst of it is over now, though they’re still forecasting gusts up to hurricane level for tonight and first half of tomorrow.

Update 5.45pm: The Consejería de Educación, Universidades y Sostenibilidad has announced that schools will be closed tomorrow, 4 March, in Tenerife, and in Gran Canaria, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. The University of La Laguna has also confirmed lectures and seminars are cancelled tomorrow. The Government says that electricity outages are expected this evening and tomorrow. Perhaps it’s a good time to get mobiles and the like charged up, and make sure there are reserve bottles and pans of water in too in case there are problems with the supply over the next 24 hours. On other islands, airports now closed in La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera.

Update 5pm:  180 km/h gusts now registered near the Teide observatory.

Update 4.30pm: Tenerife now has a red alert for winds gusting to 130km/h at altitude through the rest of today and tomorrow. Gusts of 124 km/h have already been registered near the observatory.

Update 3.45pm:  The Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias has just announced maximum alert, and emergency plan in operation.

La Palma is recording gusts of 206 km/hora at Roque de los Muchachos. That’s way beyond hurricane strength. Gusts already up to 140 km/h in the Teide crater, and the storm isn’t even here yet …

Boats are being winched out of Los Gigantes harbour. Boat owners were advised to remove them yesterday, though I’ve no idea where they’re supposed to put them!

La Palma airport is now closed, and other airports are expected to follow suit: at present other airports are just reporting “cancelled flights”.

Update 3 March:  The storm is now approaching the Canaries and is already being felt in La Palma, where a red alert for hurricane-force gusting winds has been put in place. In Tenerife, the Los Cristianos carnival has been suspended, and the Santa Cruz market and rastro closed, and the regional government is monitoring all systems until it is clear that the storm has passed.

Update 2 March: Aemet’s orange alert has been extended and now lasts for tomorrow and Monday, when sustained winds of 90 km/h, gusting to 100 km/h and to over 130 km/h (over hurricane force) at altitude, are expected. Significant rainfall forecast for Guía de Isora, Adeje and Arona areas on Monday.

Update 3pm: The Canarian Government has released an advice sheet in view of the coming winds which are forecast to gust to hurricane-force. Much of the advice is common sense, but it’s as well to be fully prepared. To see a larger version of the above, which is in English, please click HERE. The original in Spanish is HERE.

Update 2pm: Aemet has now issued a press release advising that from Sunday morning winds will arrive from the south west, turning to come from the west on Monday. At present they are expected to last until Tuesday, and to gust to hurricane strength between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning. The accompanying rain forecast remains the same.

Update 1 March: Well, there are two fronts, and there is now an orange alert for Sunday as well for rains, mainly in the south and west, of up to 30mm per hour, and winds gusting to 100 km/h, rising to 120 km/h at altitude.

Satellite image copyright of Eumetsat
SSatellite image copyright of Eumetsat

There has been an area of low pressure approaching us for a little while now, and it has been centred over the Azores for the last few days. Meteorologists have been saying that it was unpredictable, and that it was impossible to know if it would affect the Canaries in any way. Now, it seems, it is likely to cause anything from a bit of an unsettled spell to a fair storm. At present there is no alert from Aemet, but rain and winds are expected to arrive here early on Sunday, lasting until Monday, according to the present forecast.

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for the warning we do not arrive until Wednesday so I hope it has blown over by then

  2. Author

    me too Mary! It should have, with the present alerts lasting from midday tomorrow until Tuesday midday or so.

  3. Shame about PSJ beach. They put a lot of effort into reparing it when we stayed in PSJ last November. Huge stones, reinforcing rods and concrete were all going in. They might be better off constructing a concrete channel to the ocean.

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