Summer 2018 weather: a bit of everything as Tenerife has temperatures up to 36º … and thunder, rain and wind

Updated 24 September: In Carry On Clio, Mark Antony turns up to see Caesar in a very wet and windy Roman Britain. Replying to the salute of the guard he says “Hail – snow, rain, thunder, lighting – the lot! Julius in?”. Today’s been a bit like that in Tenerife, with temperatures in the 30ºs in parts, and thunder and sleet elsewhere, with winds gusting alternately hot and cold! It’s not winter yet, of course, but it is autumn, and this sort of weather is far from unusual in September. The forecast is for this instability to be with a few more days yet, with the Cabildo advising Ayuntamientos to be ready in case of problems associated with temperatures up to 36º and the dirty air of a calima. Meanwhile, for those lucky enough to get a thundery downpour, the air feels decidedly fresher afterwards!

Updated 12 September: The summer is coming to a close and autumn is blowing in with some style given the gales that have ripped through the medianías and altitude this afternoon. Thankfully this is not forecast to be an ola de calor (heatwave) nor a prolonged or even very heavy calima, though Gran Canaria is on yellow alert for dust in the atmosphere. At this changeover period in the seasons, however, it is quite normal to see this kind of instability, and the hot, dusty and windy spell is expected to be with us for the rest of the week, possibly triggering some dirty rain in parts.

Updated 28 August: After the “calmas”, the period of equilibrium between the two main weather systems we’re subject to – the alisios (trade winds) from the Atlantic and hot air from Africa – the alisios have gained the upper hand and are again providing some coolness to the summer heat. With them, however, can come some wild seas, and Aemet has issued a yellow alert from 6am tomorrow, Wednesday, for costeros around most of the island apart from the north: a NE near-gale-force 7 wind bringing wild seas. Please take care in the water and see HERE for official advice and information about risks and beach flags.

Updated 12 August: North Tenerife is on yellow alert tomorrow for rain as a calima sweeping in from the east meets the trade wind (los alisios) clouds descending from the north. As the calima seeds the clouds, Aemet forecasts rainfall of some 15mm per sq.m/h between 8am and 6pm for the area shown as yellow opposite, but with the rest of able to expect at least some grubby sand-laden drops. The Canarian Government has advised Ayuntamientos in Tenerife and all islands to the west to be prepared for any action that might come to be needed for public safety, and reiterated the official advice for staying safe in bad weather (see HERE). Meanwhile, apart from the calima’s approach seeding rain in some areas, temperatures will rise over the next few days too though at present it is not expected to be an ola de calor (heatwave).

Updated 11am: And now Aemet has indeed issued a yellow alert for the main hours of the day on Monday throughout east, south and west Tenerife for temperatures up to around 34º.

Updated 4 August: It’s going to get a bit warm over the weekend, especially on Sunday and for the following few days. There are no specific weather alerts at present, though the Canarian Government has issued the standard public health advice about how to stay safe in elevated temperatures, and it has advised Ayuntamientos throughout Tenerife to prepare to offer any civic assistance that might be needed, especially in the north east and east of the island.

We will have nothing like they are already experiencing in the mainland, with temperatures of 46º already registered and a European record-breaking 48º anticipated over the next few days: Spain’s own record is 47.4º and that is said to be clearly at risk of being broken. None the less, it will be warm enough here, with temperatures in the mid to high 30ºs expected over Monday and Tuesday before the heat starts to dissipate, as it’s presently forecast to do from Wednesday.

Meanwhile, that standard public health advice is HERE in English, and Sanidad’s own website is HERE for a wide range of information and official about staying safe in Tenerife’s summer conditions.

Updated 3 July: As anticipated in the last update at the end of June, the first real hot spell is already starting to make itself felt, and will become increasingly noticeable over the next few days. Indeed, over the weekend and into next week temperatures up to, if not above, 40º are considered highly likely in some parts of the islands. The ola de calor is expected to last a week or so until around 14 July.

As I’ve said in previous posts, and explain HERE, people normally react positively to the word “heatwave” because in a cold or rainy climate it’s a welcome change but here where it’s already hot it’s a different matter, and one that can be dangerous: temperatures in the 40ºs are not comfortable or safe for anyone. Please do have a look at Sanidad’s website HERE for official advice about staying safe in Tenerife’s summer conditions.

Please do also see HERE for staying safe at Tenerife’s beaches, with information about rip tides, undertow, and the all-important flag scheme which advises bathers of sea conditions because the sea becomes very inviting at times like these, but it still needs to be treated with the utmost respect.

Updated 26 June: The weather really hasn’t been much to write home about over the last month, but now we’re in summer proper, at least astronomically speaking, and hopefully the weather will soon catch up! Sanidad itself, the Canarian Government’s Health Department, has activated its summer health campaign, with a dedicated website HERE (set to English) with tips for keeping cool and staying healthy in the hottest time of the year here in the Canaries, with sections on heat waves, sun exposure, beach and pool accidents, food poisoning and mosquito, tick and jellyfish bites.

In particular, Sanidad urges visitors, and locals, to protect themselves in heat waves: as I myself explain HERE, people have positive associations to the word “heatwave” because in a cold or rainy climate it’s a welcome change but here where it’s already hot it’s a different matter, with temperatures able to rise well into the 40ºs, a level which is comfortable and safe for no-one. Apart from reading the Staying Safe in Heatwaves page and Sanidad’s own website (both with links in the paragraph above), the Health Department advises proper hydration and clothing, to enjoy the sun with moderation and adequate protection, to eat lightly and healthily, and be informed at every stage when bathing on the beach or at a pool. In this last sense, please also see HERE for staying safe at Tenerife’s beaches, with information about rip tides, undertow, and the all-important flag scheme which advises bathers of sea conditions.

In terms of the immediate weather outlook, meteorologists say we can expect a cool and possibly showery weekend, the result of a depression to the southwest of the archipelago. This could even be quite stormy in parts at times. From next week, however, especially from Tuesday, temperatures should rise substantially with a calima quite likely, and the year’s first real ola de calor (heatwave) a possibility. There will be updates on this, no doubt, over the next few days.

Updated 14 May: The yellow alert has been lifted as the winds and rough seas settle down but the sea is still not calm and the authorities call for prudence. In particular, there are calls for the person pulled out of the water at Fañabe around 7pm last night to be charged for the rescue services who attended the scene. Police say that despite conditions visible to anyone, and despite a yellow alert, and official calls to take extreme care in the sea, the man had got into difficulties in the water while showing every indication of being drunk. If he is sent a bill, it will be for thes scrambling of a lifeboat and helicopter, and and various police officers, bomberos and lifeguards. The man is said to be a visitor to Tenerife.

Updated 11 May: We have another rather unsettled weekend ahead, with both cloud cover and temperatures rising slightly, but with an Aemet yellow alert for costeros around Tenerife’s south, west and east coasts caused by high north-easterly winds gusting to 70km/h. Conditions around the coast will be near gale, at Force 7 on the Beaufort scale, so please take great care near or in the sea, and have a look at the official advice for staying safe in the water in Tenerife which I’ve put in English HERE.

Updated 19 April: The weather has been lovely and mild over recent weeks and the last few days particularly, but it is about to change later today as an Atlantic front pushes the warm air back towards the eastern islands and Africa. Meteorologists say we can expect it to be very windy tonight, especially in the north, but that should die away tomorrow. What it will leave behind, however, is rough seas, especially in the south where Aemet has issued a yellow alert for costeros tomorrow, Friday 20. The sea is already very rough around the coast and today the search has resumed for a swimmer missing after his companion drowned yesterday (see HERE): please take great care near the coast and in the sea, and have a look at the official advice for staying safe in the water in Tenerife which I’ve put in English HERE.

Original post 27 March: The first real warm spell of 2018 is about to be upon us, with Aemet issuing a yellow alert for its forecast of a light calima over the next couple of days. The increasing temperatures will be most noticeable in the medianías and at altitude, and especially in the south and south-east of the island, where 30º or so is possible. Sadly, the warm spell is not set to be with us for long, with an unsettled spell predicted for Easter weekend.


  1. Author

    There are some photos HERE from the police of the damage in Los Gigantes … people will need to be able to log into Facebook to see them.

  2. Doh! “Strong” not “strange no”. Flipping autocorrect.

  3. The wind is very strange no in the South West. Just back from Los Gigantes harbour. The wind has blown the balcony roof off a block of six apartments in the harbour. Most of the other blocks have lost tiles and concrete. All businesses on the ground floor are closed. I didn’t hang around to take pictures as the wind is still strong.

  4. A little bit more than a light calima i would say, staying with us for a few days if I may believe the forecast. Better stay inside.

    1. Author

      It is the forecast that classifies it as “light” … I would agree that it’s anything but light! But yes, starting to clear from tomorrow, they say.

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