Updated 26 July: As anticipated in yesterday’s post below, Aemet’s yellow alert for high temperatures in Gran Canaria from tomorrow has now been extended to Tenerife, where 34º is forecast for west, south and east Tenerife between 10am and 8pm, especially in the medianías, and the same for Friday but for the whole of Tenerife.
Updated 25 July: After a week of much cooler weather, another heatwave is approaching which will affect the islands from Thursday. Once again, Gran Canaria will face the brunt of it, with Sanidad putting southern municipalities on red alert under the Plan de Actuaciones Preventivas de los Efectos del Exceso de Temperaturas sobre la Salud. This preventative action plan introduces measures to counter the effects of extreme heat, and specifies and coordinates regional, insular and local government measures where public health is at risk.
This is Gran Canaria, of course, but Tenerife is never all that far behind. Importantly, it is not the same as a red alert from the Met Office, which is forecasting temperatures for us of around 35º, especially in the medianías, with yet another calima spoiling the air quality, particularly in the west, south and east of the island. Aemet has raised a yellow alert in its own right for south Gran Canaria and there’s little doubt that this will be extended to Tenerife in due course. This new spell could be a protracted one with temperatures rising even further next week, since Sanidad issues red alerts when conditions are expected to last five days or more.
Updated 17 July: At last the heat is starting to dissipate though it will do so gradually and will take a few days to be fully noticeable, and as always it will be more appreciable in the medianías where the heat has been fiercest. From today, Tenerife is no longer on Aemet yellow alert for heat, though the Cabildo’s ban on fires and fire risk activities in the mountains remains in place. It won’t be the last heatwave of the summer, I’m sure, but this one is now starting to pass.
Updated 14 July: Thankfully temperatures in Tenerife are not as appallingly high as on the mainland, where 47.3º was recorded in Córdoba yesterday, but they are still high with a minimum 34º expected to be amply exceeded today in most of Tenerife, especially inland. Aemet has also extended the yellow alert to tomorrow, where minimum temperatures of 34º are again forecast for between 11am and 7pm.
The Tenerife Cabildo has therefore reminded people that the problem is often not just one of extreme heat but also of low humidity, and that these conditions are not a matter of “bring it on, it can’t ever be too hot” but of potentially life-threatening danger. Indeed, a municipal road maintenance worker died yesterday from heatstroke in Seville, just 140km away from that record-breaking heat in Córdoba. Please see HERE where I’ve posted this official advice in English
Yesterday the Canarian Government issued a forest fire risk alert because the combination of such high heat and low humidity are the two main factors creating the risk. With the forecast calima blowing in as well, the third factor of high winds create the additional condition for any fire to spread catastrophically. Please see HERE for the official English version of the advice.
Updated 12 July: The whole of Spain is expecting a heatwave over the next few days, and although we sometimes escape systems affecting the mainland, we won’t on this occasion. Aemet has forecast high temperatures in the Canaries starting from tomorrow, with a yellow hot weather alert in place on Friday for the south, west and east of Tenerife, especially in the medianías, with temperatures of over 34º in the main hours of the day between 11am and 7pm.
Updated 1 July: Aemet has extended its yellow alert for costeros which now remains in place for the whole of today. Again it is for strong force 7 NE winds bringing a swell in the sea of 4m. Please be very careful in the sea, and see HERE too for general advice on staying safe in Tenerife’s waters.
Updated 28 June: As the temperature cools down noticeably today with the return of the trade winds from the north east, so Aemet has advised that the sea will become considerably rougher and issued a yellow alert for costeros in Tenerife this Friday, 30 June, with a NE force 7 wind causing a swell of 4m. Please be careful in the sea over the next several days, especially on Friday, and see HERE too for general advice on staying safe in Tenerife’s waters.
Updated 24 June: The Canarian Government has finalized its High Temperature Alert as temperatures begin to return to normal. The alert ends at midnight (left), but temperatures will only slowly decrease to normal levels. The Cabildo has, as yet, not removed its ban on fires in the mountains, including BBQs in recreational areas.
Updated 23 June: The Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias has issued a High Temperature Alert for the whole of the Canaries as from 11am this morning (click the alert on the right to see full size). The alert is based on information provided by the Met Office and applies the Adverse Weather Civil Protection Plan – Plan de Protección Civil por Fenómeno Meteorológico Adverso (PEFMA). The Canarian Government urges the public to follow the official health advice for such conditions which I have summarized HERE. The alert will remain in place while prevailing weather conditions last.
Updated 3pm: The mainland has been experiencing some extremely high temperatures for June, and indeed Portugal is fighting the worst forest fire in its history where over 60 have died in the last week from its effects, but here in the Canaries it’s been really pleasant early summer weather. That’s likely to change later this week when the hot air that’s been going north from Africa to cause those conditions in the Iberian peninsula will billow out westwards to us.
We should start to see temperatures rise over the next couple of days and then feel the real effects of the heatwave on Thursday, especially in the medianías and south of Tenerife. It should be a hot weekend, with all those bonfires for San Juan’s Night blazing as well! Please do have a look at Sanidad’s summer health website that I posted this morning, and also for official advice on staying safe in Tenerife’s heatwaves HERE.
Do bear in mind, too that our usual understand of “the hottest time of day” will be somewhat out of kilter here in Tenerife. We’re about two hours out here because Spain chose to align its time with Nazi Germany during WWII. We should be an hour behind Spain, but Spain should itself be a couple of hours behind the main part of Europe … meaning that the Canaries should be a couple of hours behind GMT/BST … but we aren’t. Our time is the same as the UK’s but it shouldn’t be. The hottest part of our day here is between 1pm and 6pm (11 am to 4pm as it really should be: see HERE too).
Updated 19 June: Earlier this month the Canarian Government’s Health Department put in place its summer heatwave protocol, the Plan de Actuaciones Preventivas de los Efectos del Exceso de Temperaturas sobre la Salud (most recent update below), and now there is a website to go with the protocol, veranosaludable.org, “healthy summer”. It’s full of advice about how to stay healthy in very high temperatures, healthy eating, sun protection, and how to deal with the usual hazards of summer in a holiday environment such as jellyfish stings, insect bites etc. I’ve set it to English so hopefully it will be accessible to everyone.
Updated 5 June: Apart from expecting rough seas this weekend, we are also going to have the usual temperatures associated with the beginning of full summer, and so the Canarian Government’s Health Department has just put in place its summer heatwave protocol, the Plan de Actuaciones Preventivas de los Efectos del Exceso de Temperaturas sobre la Salud. This preventative action plan introduces measures to counter the effects of heat throughout the summer, and specifies and coordinates regional, insular and local government measures where public health is at risk.
Sanidad’s protocol also sets up the system of alerts used by authorities and meteorological agencies. It sees Level 1 being a yellow alert for temperatures over 32º for no more than a couple of days. Level two is an orange alert for 3 to 4 days of high temperatures, and red is used for level 3 if a heatwave goes beyond 5 days.
Once again, the health department reminds the public that in the very hot weather the Canaries gets in summer months, the elderly, children and those with chronic illnesses are most at risk. The summer protocol will see the entire health system, from government to health centres on notice to deal with the consequences of elevated temperatures. Please also have a look HERE for detailed advice for staying safe in the heat here.
Updated 3 June: Please take particular care in the sea here this weekend, especially tomorrow, when there is an Aemet yellow alert in place for costeros. The alert covers the whole of south Tenerife, including the east and west coasts, where very rough seas are forecast. Have a look HERE for advice on staying safe in the sea here and, particularly with an alert in place, the various safety flags that fly on the beaches here to advise the public.
Updated 17 May: Aemet has updated its yellow alert for high winds and costeros, which now continues to Friday, and the high winds forecast is extended to the medianías as well as the coast.
Updated 16 May: With the calima now being felt here, Aemet have issued a yellow alert for the costeros that its arrival will bring with it over the next several days. The costeros will involve rough seas and treacherous waves with near gale Force 7 winds around the coast. The alert advises the public to take great care, indeed to stay away from the coast where possible. Please let’s not have any fatalities to report on the Drowning Post.
Updated 11 May: It could get a bit warmer next week, quite a bit warmer, meteorologists say, as a calima starts to arrive on Sunday. The areas most affected are likely to be the south and west, especially in the medianías, with the trade winds giving a bit more protection to the north and east. Please do have a look HERE, too, for official advice on staying safe in heatwaves.
Updated 2 May: And yet more unsummery weather is coming our way with a stormy front passing through the Canaries on Thursday and Friday, Aemet says. The cloud build-up should start tomorrow, and the winds should pick up too, coming from the north west.
Updated 29 April: Emergency services have repeated their request for the public to take suitable care in adverse weather conditions after a 48-year-old British woman suffered a cardiac arrest and nearly drowned while diving off the Playa de Radazul, El Rosario, just before 11.30 this morning. She was pulled out of the water by fellow divers, and then transferred by emergency services to Candelaria Hospital where her condition is said to be serious.
Cardiac arrest is a symptom of cold water shock, a cause of many drownings here because the water is always technically “cold”. When the water is anything but calm, moreover, the effect is heightened because of the added stress put on the body by the increased effort required. Please see HERE for further information.
Emergency services pleaded only yesterday for sensible behaviour from the public while adverse weather condition persist, asking them to avoid the coast where the seas are rough and to postpone walks through terrain that would be strenuous at the best of times, let alone when rainwaters can make the ground untenable, or even sweep hikers off their feet.
Updated 28 April: The torrential rains with stormy conditions have affected various parts of Tenerife overnight and are set to continue to do so for a few hours yet. The authorities plead for sensible behaviour from the public, asking them to avoid the coast where the seas are rough and to postpone walks through terrain that would be strenuous at the best of times, let alone when rainwaters can make the ground untenable, or even sweep hikers off their feet. Today, emergency services had to dispatch a helicopter to rescue a 70-year-old woman who sustained minor injuries while descending Masca barranco, a walk that could hardly be described as sensible in such conditions.
Updated 27 April: The Canarian Government has issued a pre-alert for rains in Tenerife overnight. The pre-alert runs from now (5.45pm) until 10am tomorrow morning, and anticipates downpours with stormy conditions in parts of Tenerife. Aemet itself thinks that the south and east of Tenerife is likely to be most affected.
Updated 26 April: The first rains reached La Palma this morning, and got to La Gomera this afternoon. Now, this evening, the first wet weather has arrived at Tenerife, with at least a couple of heavy showers in the west. Aemet says that this depression (the dark part of the video below) is approaching us and will bring an instability that’s forecast to last to and possibly through the weekend, some of it quite stormy.
Vapor de agua. Zona oscura (bajas presiones) se acerca a Canarias. Aportará inestabilidad. Posibilidad de tormentas cerca occidentales pic.twitter.com/DnNQ46zEvY
— AEMET_Canarias (@AEMET_Canarias) 26 April 2017
Updated 24 April: It might have seemed like summer had arrived early a week or so ago, but the calima which made temperatures soar has been replaced by a rather dull spell over the past several days. Meteorologists think, however, that a system coming in from the Atlantic could bring some wet weather from Thursday. It won’t be cold, at least, but wet and warm weather will make it quite muggy – very muggy, some are saying. There will be more updates over the next few days, I’m sure.
Updated 17 April: It’s been a torrid couple of days with high winds in the hills blowing in a calima sending temperatures way above the norm for this time of year. Meteorologists say, however, that from tomorrow we should notice a significant reduction taking values down 5º or so, and getting back to the mid to high 20s from Wednesday with the return of northerly breezes.
Meanwhile, please be aware of the official advice for staying safe in these hot spells, which I’ve outlined in English HERE, not least because humidity can drop to dangerous levels when wind is blowing in desert air from the east. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions can suffer disproportionately so please do become familiar with the official advice, ensure there’s enough of any medication needed, and seek medical advice immediately in the event of feeling unwell.
Updated 19 March: The unsettled spell looks as though the worst is over, with Güímar and Los Realejos in particular yesterday getting the heaviest downpours. The observatory at Izaña woke this morning to a snowy scene, and the Cabildo’s Roads Department says that the TF-24 and TF-21 access roads (from the north) to Teide are closed because of snow and ice on the carriageway, and the TF-31 (Martiánez) access to Puerto de la Cruz is also closed.
Updated 18 March: The rain has arrived in parts of the north as forecast, with more to come and heavier than anticipated. Also as forecast, it arrives as snow about 2,200m. This video of snow on Teide this morning is from Volcano Teide, the official National Park tourism organization.
— Volcano Teide (@VolcanoTeide) 18 March 2017
Updated 4pm: The unsettled spell that has been forecast for a week has now caused Aemet to issue a yellow alert, and the Canarian Government to issue a prealert, for rain throughout the Canaries from 9am tomorrow, Saturday 18 March. Rain is not expected to be particularly heavy but some areas in Tenerife could experience downpours.
Updated 17 March: As forecast, the spell of unstable weather has arrived, and has brought with it some snow on Teide above 2,000m. Thank goodness the cable car breakdown happened when it did because 24 hours later people would have been stranded in very cold conditions indeed! Drivers in the area are urged to take extra care, and some of the access roads to Teide, through El Portillo and Arafo, for example, have been closed because of snow and ice.
Updated 14 March: The Canarian Government has lifted its alerts for high winds and wild seas around the western islands including Tenerife. Aemet says that after last week’s calima, and the forceful return of the alisios (trade winds) over the last couple of days bringing strong winds in parts and rough waves, today and tomorrow are days of transition before an unstable weather system arrives on Thursday. This will bring rain to some areas, though the likely extent and severity is still under assessment. No doubt there will be more information in coming hours and days. What is clear, however, is that the system, like the alisios, is coming from the north, so that will be the first to see any effects.
Updated 3pm: The Canarian Government has issued its own alert now for gales and wild seas tomorrow. The Government asks the public to take the utmost precautions to stay safe, and for people to familiarise themselves with the recommended safety advice, which I’ve outlined in English HERE.
Meanwhile, double-check any planned trips or events to make sure they’re still going ahead over the next day or so because things sometimes are postponed, cancelled or closed with these alerts. For example, the Teleférico is often closed temporarily in high winds, and the Teno access has been closed while this alert is in place, and of course, please take extra special care in the sea. One thing that has not been cancelled, however, is school: classes continue until specific notice from the Education Department.
Updated 12 March: As expected, temperatures have dropped a few degrees, enough to be noticeable, and will continue to fall over coming hours. As also expected, however, the wind is the main factor, with forecast gusts of up to 90km/h seeing Aemet raise alerts, rising to orange in Tenerife tomorrow, for winds and costeros (wild waves). The conditions are expected to last until Tuesday.
Updated 10 March: Today should be the hottest day of this calima, which has thankfully not been quite as thick with dust-laden air as originally expected. These abnormally high Spring temperatures should begin to reduce from tomorrow, however, and by Sunday, temperatures could have dropped by as much as 10º, meteorologists say.
Updated 9 March: The full effects of this first calima of 2017 will start to be felt today, with the west and north in particular feeling the wind, but everywhere experiencing the heat. Today and tomorrow seem set to be the hottest days, with the heatwave starting to disperse on Sunday.
Aemet has raised a yellow alert for calima, and the Canarian Government has issued a prealert, both being intended to raise awareness of the problems this weather phenomenon can cause. Please see HERE for staying safe in heatwaves, with calimas being a particular problem for those with respiratory conditions, and HERE for staying safe in the sea because with the calima winds, the sea becomes rougher than usual, at a time when the heat tempts people more than ever to go in to cool off.
Original post 7 March: The first real warm spell of 2017 is about to be upon us, with meteorologists forecasting some high winds arriving today bringing a light calima from the east along with a considerable rise in temperatures. The increasing warmth will be most notable in the medianías and at altitude, and especially in the south and south-east of the island, where 30º or so is possible. One of the main features over the next 24 hours or so, however, is likely to be the wind, but the warm spell is set to be with us until at least Thursday evening.