Winter 2017-18 season weather: yellow alert issued for strong winds to make coasts treacherous over next few days

Photo: Parque Nacional Teide.

Updated 19 March: Aemet has issued a yellow alert for costeros – coastal phenomena – throughout the Canaries over the next few days. According to the forecast, the islands will experience near gale-force (Beaufort scale 7) north-east winds and these will create treacherous conditions near the coast. In terms of Tenerife specifically, Aemet says that the south, east and west will be most affected. During alerts for costeros the public is asked to take great care near the coast and to avoid the sea and rock pools: please see HERE for official advice for staying safe in the sea at these, and other times.

Updated 2 March: The fourth band of the storm that’s been affecting the Canaries for at least the past week will arrive throughout today, meteorologists say. Seemingly it will not be as fierce as the bands we’ve seen so far, but it will bring rain and wind on tomorrow, Saturday 3 March.  Sunday, it seems, will at last bring some calmer weather.

Updated 1 March: After a wild night of heavy rain and high winds in the western islands, including hurricane-level gusts of wind (157km/h) in La Gomera and an accident in Santa cruz port where an oil rig lost its mooring and crashed into a container ship, things are generally returning to normal today. All the schools were open today apart from IES Tamaimo which had sports hall roof damage, but even this will be open tomorrow, Friday 2 March, the school itself and Santiago del Teide Ayuntamiento have confirmed.

Updated 9pm: The regional Government’s Education Department has confirmed that schools throughout the Canaries will reopen tomorrow, Thursday 1 March, apart from IES Tamaimo, which will remain closed due to damage to its sports hall roof.

Updated 28 February: Well in the end it could have been a lot worse! Emergency services say that they dealt with over 100 calls last night, but that was over all the western islands and Gran Canaria, and none involved anything more serious than flooded roads (eg the El Fraile to Las Galletas road was inundated again) or fallen branches or street lights. Given the potential of the storm, which will be moving east throughout today, it seems we got off really quite lightly.

For the moment, however, the Government’s alert for high winds and costeros remains in place, and so anyone thinking of doing anything, or going anywhere, should check with their own Ayuntamiento (best by their social media accounts) to see what applies in their own areas over the next few days, as well as confirming flights, ferry and bus journeys in advance to check for cancellations. Drivers too should check the state of roads before setting out either by calling the Cabildo’s free helpline – 900 210 131 – or visit the website

The Government also reminds the public to follow the official advice for staying safe in these conditions which is in English HERE.

Updated 8.15pm: This does not happen often, but the Canarian Government’s Education Department has announced that due to the weather forecast, schools are closed tomorrow in Tenerife, as well as in Gran Canaria, La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera. For the avoidance of confusion, especially given how often this is a subject for hoaxes, here is the Education Department’s own tweet confirming the measure.

and here is Tenerife president Carlos Alonso’s confirmation of it.

and finally, HERE is the Education Department’s official announcement on the Canarian Government’s website.

Updated 6.30pm: The Canarian Government’s Education Department has announced that IES Tamaimo in Santiago del Teide will be closed tomorrow because of damage caused to the roof. No other schools will be closed tomorrow as things stand at present.

Updated 27 February: The third front of this major weather system is already affecting Tenerife, with the main band expected to arrive tonight. The west of Tenerife is expected to be particularly affected, with notably heavy rain and stormy conditions especially in the medianías, while the coast is forecast to be wild. There is a Met Office yellow alert today rising to orange tomorrow for winds and rain, and a Canarian Government alert for high winds gusting to 130 km/h with an alert for costeros with gale force winds (Beaufort scale 8) and 6.5m waves. The public is asked to take great care near the coast and to avoid the sea and rock pools.

Some councils have officially closed coastal facilities because of the forecast, while others have cancelled various outdoor and extracurricular events. Again, anyone thinking of doing anything, or going anywhere, would be advised to check with their own Ayuntamiento’s social media (most councils have a twitter and/or Facebook account) to see what applies in their own areas over the next few days, and drivers should check the state of roads before setting out either by calling the Cabildo’s free helpline – 900 210 131 – or checking the website Meanwhile, the Government asks the public to follow the official advice for staying safe in these conditions which is in English HERE.

Updated 11pm: The worst is over, it seems, and although there are several more days of “instability” bringing rain and wind, particularly on Wednesday it seems, the Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias tonight ended the alert it activated on Thursday for heavy rain and wind throughout the islands. The councils and Cabildo are now likely to raise their own restrictions and cancellations, and announcements will probably follow throughout the day tomorrow.

Updated 5.10pm: and as at 17.07h, Aenea has announced that TFN (now La Laguna airport) has also reopened.

Updated 4.45pm: Aena has said within the last two minutes that TFS has reopened.

Updated 25 February: The heavier rain forecast was obviously accurate! Emergency services say that they’ve had over a hundred calls today to assist with minor accidents, and fallen rocks and other objects and trees, including having to rescue two occupants of a car stranded in snow above Fasnia near Izaña. Thankfully no incidents were serious. Tenerife’s airports, however, have not been so fortunate, with the airports authorities diverting several flights this lunchtime from TFN to TFS, and now the runway at TFS is partially flooded so nothing is landing or taking off. The latest, as of 4pm, is that all flights to and from TFS are being diverted to other airports at present: both Tenerife airports are therefore closed currently and travellers are advised to check their arrangements with the carriers concerned.

The weather front is expected to move eastwards throughout the evening, though as the Met Office has already forecast, the temporal is likely to continue, albeit slightly weaker, until the middle of the coming week. Meanwhile the road through the caldera is blocked by rockfalls and Carreteras reminds drivers to check the state of roads before setting out either by calling the Cabildo’s free helpline – 900 210 131 – or checking the website

Updated 24 February: The Tenerife Cabildo has announced that as a result of the weather forecast for tomorrow of heavy rain and strong winds,  all walking trails, forest tracks, recreational areas and campsites in the Teide National Park will be closed, and transit is prohibited to pedestrians and vehicles, from midnight tonight. The closure and ban on access is for public safety, the Cabildo says, and will remain in place until the Canarian Government declares the end of the situation covered by its Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias protocols. While these weather conditions persist, the Cabildo asks the public to follow the recommendations set by the DGSE (see HERE).

Updated 4.30pm: Given the weather forecast, worsening for Sunday, many Ayuntamientos in Tenerife have taken various measures for their residents’ security. Some councils have cancelled all public events, others have cancelled some; some councils have instigated their own local emergency protocols, and others have provided phone numbers for the public to call in for assistance or to advise of incidents. Anyone thinking of doing anything, or going anywhere, would be advised to check with their own Ayuntamiento’s social media (most councils have a twitter and/or Facebook account) to see what applies in their own areas over the next few days.

Updated 23 February: The rain has arrived as forecast, and caused various cancellations of public and extracurricular events – though schools remain open! – but instead of weakening, the weather front is set to get stronger. After a break, as expected, tomorrow, Tenerife is now on orange alert for Sunday’s band of rain, with downpours torrential at times totalling up to 100 l/m2/24h. It will be windy as well, gusting to 90 km/h, and there is a yellow alert for costeros so the coastal areas will be wild.

Updated 22 February: As expected, Aemet has now issued a yellow alert for rain tomorrow for the whole of Tenerife, and the Canarian Government has activated its own alert for heavy rains, especially in the south, west and east, from midnight tonight. Rain of up to 70 litres per square metre per 24 hours are anticipated, with meteorologists saying that the rains are likely to come in bands, with the heaviest tomorrow. Saturday could see a slight break in the weather with another band coming on Sunday. It is likely to continue, albeit slightly weaker, into next week. Along with the rains, snow has been forecast for altitude, so we can expect to see roads to Teide closed again, and the seas are likely to be wild, so the usual cautions apply when bathing or simply being near the coast. The official advice for staying safe in bad weather is HERE.

Updated 20 February: Meteorologists say that their instruments point to the weather worsening later this week, and notably so. From Friday it could be very unstable, they say, with strong wind, heavt rain and extremely rough seas: Aemet, indeed, has issued a yellow alert for costeros from Thursday. The forecasts are likely to become firmer as the next couple of days progress.

Updated 16 February: The Tenerife Cabildo has announced that Operativo Nevadas will be in place again tomorrow and Sunday, 17 and 18 February, again between 8am and 6pm in order to guarantee safe visitor access to the National Park. Arrangements are as follows:

– TF-24. La Esperanza: access only by free Titsa bus from the centre of La Esperanza. The bus stop is near the Ayuntamiento de El Rosario, and the first bus will leave La Esperanza at 9.30am, the last at 2pm. Last bus back from Izaña tp La Esperanza will be at 4.30pm.
– TF-21. La Orotava: access only by free Titsa bus from Aguamansa. Ten buses will operate according to demand taking passengers to Portillo Bajo & Portillo Alto. First bus will leave Aguamansa at 9.30am, last at 2pm. Last bus back down from Portillo Alto to Aguamansa will be at 4.30pm.
– TF-38 from Chío & TF-21 from Vilaflor: roads open to general traffic in both directions to the Teleférico.
– Pistas forestales: all tracks and trails connecting with roads that are closed will themselves remain closed.

Once again, the Guardia Civil will have a unit deployed to control traffic and regulate circulation, and there will be ambulances and medical resources supported by Cruz Roja for full safety cover.

Updated 12 February: The Tenerife Cabildo has reactivated Operativo Nevadas for tomorrow, Tuesday 13 February, between 8am and 6pm as a result of the snows acumulated over recent days:

    • TF-24. La Esperanza. Access via the TF24 will be by free buses laid on by Titsa. These will depart from the centre of La Esperanza, transferring people towards Izaña, Portillo Bajo and Portillo Alto where the main snow is. The first bus will leave at 9.30am, the last at 2pm. The last bus back down will be at 4.30pm.
    • TF-38 desde Chío & TF-21 desde Vilaflor. Both roads will be open in both directions as far as the Teleférico. From there, the road will be closed between 8am and 6pm. Anyone wanting to go down via the north roads will need to do so by the public buses supplied.
    • Cortes de carretera TF-24 (La Esperanza) & TF-21 (La Orotava). Both roads will be closed between 8am and 6pm at the junction with the TF-523 (Cruce de Los Loros) and the TF-21 between PK16 (La Caldera de Aguamansa) and PK 43 (Teleférico).

The Guardia Civil will have a unit deployed to control traffic and regulate circulation, and there will be ambulances and medical resources supported by Cruz Roja for full safety cover.

There are widespread closures for forest tracks and hiking trails, many of which will be closed to the public for safety reasons. Hikers can consult THIS page which the Cabildo has set up to help identify where they can safely walk.

Further information about Operativo Nevadas can be found at the Cabildo’s website, in the Diario de Tenerife ( and on the Cabildo’s social media channels. Equally there is a phone helpline to call – 901 501 901, and as usual the Cabildo’s roads map is kept up to date with closures and road works information: The Cabildo has released the following map of the routes and access described above.

Updated 5pm: The Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias has now issued an alert for high winds throughout the islands. The DGSE says that we can expet sustained northerly and north-easterly winds of up to 50 km/h with gusts of up to 100 km/h, possibly higher locally. The alert is active from midnight tonight, and the Government asks the public to follow official advice, which is HERE.

Photo: Tenerife Cabildo

Updated 6 February: Northern access roads to Teide are again closed because of ice (see left, click to enlarge), and the TF21 through the caldera is periodically closed for the same reason. Meanwhile, Aemet is warning of another deterioration in the weather over coming days, with wind expected to be very strong, and an alert in place for serious costeros: the seas are going to be wild so the authorities request extreme caution and, ideally, for the public to stay away from coastal paths and areas. Rain is likely in all areas, heavy in parts, becoming snow above 1,500m. Anyone wanting to go up the mountain should check THIS official website first to see which roads are open.

Updated 5 February: The weather front is leaving the Canaries now and all access roads are again open to the National Park though the authorities say there is still ice on parts of the roads, and so great care should be taken. The Teleférico will remain closed until at least Wednesday because it remains very windy at altitude, and several hiking trails are closed. Aemet is warning of costeros – very rough seas – around the whole of Tenerife from midweek.

Updated 2 February:  These images show the conditions roads teams are dealing with in the National Park. The authorities say that all access roads and walking routes remain closed. The map HERE will give the up to date status of all roads.

Updated 1 February: As the Guardia Civil said last night, it has had to assist some 70 individuals in around 30 vehicles who had gone up to see the snow and become stuck or needed help. This morning too, with snow, ice and temperatures well below zero in the caldera and above, emergency assistance association AEA (Ayuda en emergencias Anaga) had to request official help to locate a vehicle and its occupants in the national park above La Orotava. Mountain search and rescue teams were deployed in the search but with the vehicle reported lost being nowhere to be seen, the search was finally called off.

The Cabildo again asks the public to be prudent and take sensible precautions in what are extreme conditions, and ideally not to go to up the mountain while this weather persists even if access roads are open, though they are all closed as of this morning. The map HERE will give the up to date status of all roads.

Updated 31 January: Councils and other authorities have been put on standby for heavy rains to affect parts of Tenerife this evening, particularly in the north and metropolitan areas. Rain may be torrential at times, and meanwhile, the Guardia Civil says that it has had to assist some 70 individuals in around 30 vehicles who had gone up to see the snow and become stuck or needed help. The two main access roads from the north remain closed but the caldera can still be reached from the south though the authorities ask the public to avoid the area during this spell of bad weather which saw temperatures plummet to -14º at the upper Teleférico station the night before last.

Updated 30 January: The Cabildo has reminded the public that all access roads to the Teide National Park are closed at present, with the map HERE always showing the up-to-date situation. Carreteras has released the following video of road teams working to clear the snow! Meanwhile, the Canarian Government has lifted its alert for tormentas: the weather system won’t clear us completely for a few days but it is passing.

Updated 29 January: Teide has had its first snows of 2018. Not too much, it must be said, but temperatures were below zero as the promised weather front swept in overnight. The forecast is for the unsettled spell to be with us much of this week, and at present some sections of some access roads to the National Park are closed because of ice on the carriageway. If anyone is thinking of going up to see some snow, check HERE first – the Cabildo’s roads map which shows where there are closures, and the reasons for them, though the Cabildo itself has requested the public to stay away from the caldera for the time being. The following photo is from Aemet at the Izaña observatory.


Updated 28 January: There have been alerts over the past few days because of the weather front which has already started crossing the archipelago, and now the Canarian Government has issued a specific alert for “tormentas” – stormy weather – from 3am tonight in Tenerife and all islands east (see image right, click to enlarge). The Government’s official advice for staying safe in tormentas is HERE in English.

Updated 26 January: The weather front which was forecast is already arriving, bringing clouds and high winds … and very rough seas. Both the Met Office and the Government have issued alerts and warnings for the state of the sea, and are advising of severe costeros. Please take particular care near the coast, and ideally avoid the sea over the next few days.

Updated 25 January: A cold front is expected to arrive overnight tonight bringing winds and rain from the north east. The system will remain with us over the weekend and possibly over the coming week, meteorologists think, and be responsible for some squally and rainy conditions, locally intense. The main feature of the front, however, will be the northeast wind, gusting to 90km/h in the medianías and altitude, especially in the southeast and northeast areas of Tenerife.

Updated 18 January: As forecast, the seas are wild at the moment, with La Orotava Ayuntamiento closing access to the municipality’s beaches for safety reasons. Elsewhere, waves are very rough, and a 28-year-old French swimmer was very lucky this lunchtime to get out of the water alive after he got into trouble in the sea outside the rock pool at Puerto Santiago. Thanks to a Policía Local officer who jumped into the water and helped the swimmer to avoid being swept into the rocks by the waves, he was able to survive until a lifeboat was able to rescue him and bring him into Los Gigantes harbour.  Please pay the utmost respect to the sea right now because conditions are very unsafe indeed.

Updated 14 January: And with the cold snap and northerly winds comes the yellow alert for rough seas from Tuesday. The alert is just for the north but there will be heavy swell and strong currents around the whole of Tenerife. Please take care in the sea here, and have a look HERE for official safety advice.

Updated 12 January: A cold snap is coming our way, Amet has forecast, for the whole of next week. And with it should come some unstable weather, and even some locally-heavy downpours in some parts. Again, the north is most likely to be affected, at least by the rain, but we should all feel the temperatures start to fall from this weekend. Could we see some real snow this winter, rather than ice or hail, on Teide after all?

Updated 9 January: The winds have died down considerably over the last couple of days and the DGSE has lifted its alert for coastal phenomena. Care is still needed in the sea, which is technically cold especially at this time of year, and it is still not as calm as it might be. The next few days should be cool and cloudy, and as some compensation, the National Park authorities have released this lovely picture of the heavy hoarfrost in the Teide caldera over this last weekend.

Updated 6 January: The Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias has issued an alert for costeros from 3am tonight. Aemet yesterday itself issued a yellow alert for wild seas, and this DGSE alert for coastal phenomena activates the Civil Protection plan for adverse weather to coordinate the emergency services’ communication and responses.

Force 5 and 6 N and NW winds (30-50 km/h) rising to Force 7 (50-60 km/h) are expected with a sea swell of up to 6m. The wildest waves are expected to be in the north and west of the islands. The timing of the alert is coordinated with the high tide due on Sunday at 4.46am and again at 5.18pm. The Government urges the public to follow the official advice for staying safe in these conditions which I’ve translated HERE, but which basically boils down to staying out of the water and away from the coast while conditions persist.

Updated 5 January 2018: The good weather with mild calima that we’ve had over the Christmas period is expected to be replaced throughout today by a northerly front bringing lower temperatures, cloud, and some rain, especially in the north. Coming with the front will be some strong winds, and Aemet has issued a yellow alert for tomorrow and Sunday for wind in the north, and costeros, rough seas, for the whole of Tenerife’s coast. Please be careful in the sea over the next few days, and wrap up warmly tonight for the Reyes parades throughout Tenerife!

Updated 19 December 2017: Last year we had a white Christmas, but this year we’ll have calima instead. It’s expected to blow in, literally, from later today, and will settle for the week thanks to a large high-pressure system over the mainland. The calima is not expected to be a thick one, thankfully, and it won’t bring the dreaded “heatwave” with it: indeed, as happened only a week or so ago, the nights will be really quite chilly. Please do bear in mind if you’re going in the sea that it will be rougher and colder than you might expect – please see HERE for safety advice.

Updated 11 December: The alert for high wind and costeros has now been extended to the whole of Tenerife for tomorrow. The seas will be rough. Please take very great care.

Updated 10 December: Aemet has now issued a yellow alert for Monday and Tuesday for wind and rain and costeros in north Tenerife. This is likely to be extended or expanded, but the significant factor will be that rough sea, with a swell forecast of up to 5m. Please see HERE for information about “costeros”, and the danger they can represent, and about staying safe in the sea here generally.

Updated 9 December: The recent calima may have surprised those who thought calimas always brought hot air because as often happens in winter, the winds bringing the dust have been really quite cold, especially at night. And it’s about to get colder as the next two transition days introduce a northerly front bringing cold air and rain, especially in the north. Temperatures will fall at all levels, forecasters predict, and the air will be damp even for those who don’t get any rain. At least the dry, dusty and pathogen-laden calima is history, for now!

Updated 3 December: Aemet’s Barcelona Dust Forecast says that a “significant Saharan dust event” is expecte in the Canaries from tomorrow afternoon. Yet another calima, it seems, is coming our way, where “PM10 could exceed 500 ug/m3”. Whatever that technical reading means, it sounds as though it could be a thick one.

Updated 25 November: After a quiet enough night in Tenerife, but during which El Hierro and especially La Palma suffered torrential downpours, dawn was a spectacular affair for us. Parts of Tenerife did have some rain through the night, and in terms of winds, Izaña recorded gusts of 103 km/h in the early hours, by far the strongest wind registered in the Canaries during this unsettled spell. The western islands apart from Tenerife remain on orange alert for rain and wind tomorrow, while Tenerife itself remains on yellow alert. It’s not over yet, though we have little enough to show for it … apart from the clouds, that is! The following was taken from Izaña early this morning.

Photo: Aemet at Izaña


Updated 11.30am: And Aemet itself has now put Tenerife on yellow alert for rain as well as wind. The Canarian Government’s alert is for Saturday and Aemet’s is for Sunday, so it’s fair to say that many parts of Tenerife have a high likelihood of seeing rain and some very blustery weather over the weekend.

Updated 24 November: Although Aemet still only has Tenerife on yellow alert for high winds, the Canarian Government’s Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias has issued an alert for rain in Tenerife on Saturday. This was forecast by Aemet, of course, along with rain on Sunday, though not sufficient in Tenerife to warrant a yellow alert. The Canarian Government’s alert is in place from midnight tonight, and concerns moderate to heavvy rain and stormy conditions, possibly severe in parts. Heaviest rain is expected in the west, south and east of Tenerife, as well as the metropolitan area. The alert also covers sustained winds of 35-50 km/h gusting to 70–100 km/h, possibly stronger, especially at altitude, where gusts in Las Cañadas could exceed 120 km/h.

Updated 23 November: Aemet has now issued a yellow alert for Tenerife this Saturday, forecasting winds gusting to 70km/h. The alert is not for rain, at least not at present, but that is expected over the weekend as well, with showers heavy in parts, and stormy conditions generally.

Updated 22 November: The picture for Tenerife seems to be becoming clearer, with Aemet issuing a statement advising of rain and wind from Friday due to the arrival of an Atlantic borrasca (area of low pressure/stormy weather) which will bring “very adverse” conditions of heavy rain and high winds, especially in the medianías and at altitude. According to Aemet’s forecast, Saturday especially will see very heavy and persistent rain, particularly in the south and west, with stormy conditions generally. The situation is expected to last throughout Sunday, and start to improve on Monday and Tuesday.

Updated 21 November: And what will probably be just the first of a few yellow alerts for rain has been issued by Aemet for tomorrow in La Palma. Tenerife is still having strong dry gusts of wind so many will be keeping their fingers crossed that this front coming in from the west will be able to reach us with a spell of some much needed rain.

Updated 19 November: Meteorologists say that minute by minute the situation is becoming clearer and that the Canaries could see what is perhaps the first of the winter storms from Wednesday. Aemet itself says that rain could be quite heavy in the south and west of the islands, despite the possibility of the front drawing some heat and dust in the air out of Africa on Monday and Tuesday, something that is not expected to affect us in Tenerife, though the eastern islands could experience some calima. Hopefully we will get some much needed rain, and of some significance!  The following animation comes from Efemérides Meteorológicas Canarias.

Updated 18 November: There hasn’t been much rain as yet, but what rain there was yesterday fell as snow on Teide. There wasn’t much of that either, and most of it was hail, but it was there, and although it’s cleared now it was still the first snow of winter!

Photo: Los Realejos Meteorología

Updated 17 November: Aemet says that an unsettled spell could see some very autumnal weather over the next week or so, with fronts forming to the west of the Canaries bringing showers from later today. Most rainfall over the next few days will be light, but away from the coast there could be some moderate to heavy downpours. Meteorologists say that they are watching the fronts with interest to see what develops in terms of what effect they could have on these islands, but are confident that none will produce a storm to affect us directly.

Updated 6 November: It certainly has dropped a few degrees over the past few days, and now it seems that we could be in for an unstable period thanks to a depression arriving tonight and bringing some heavy rain to parts of Tenerife. For the rest of Tenerife it should be cloudy, with the possibility of some light showers, but in the north in particular, the showers could be quite heavy. Meteorologists say that we should all find the north-east wind quite strong on occasions too. Hopefully it will be departing by the time the marathon is being run in Santa Cruz on Sunday, and it goes without saying that swimmers should be particularly careful because these are the conditions that make the sea colder and rougher than usual.

Original post 2 November: We’ve only just turned the corner into the winter season and already the first cold snap is approaching. Over the next few days we should see temperatures drop quite sharply, meteorologists say, because of a northern weather front which will bring clouds and showers. The rain should mainly be in the north east of Tenerife, and could be quite an intense downpour over in La Palma, but here the showers should be scattered and fairly light. Winter is coming …


  1. Indeed John, The air quality standard for PM10, which is designed to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety, is 150 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), averaged over 24 hours. Responsables are required to issue a public alert when PM10 levels reach 350 µg/m3 on a 24 hour average, public warning when PM10 levels reach 420 µg/m3 on a 24 hour average, and a declaration of public emergency at the level of 500 µg/m3. The significant harm level, at which serious and widespread health effects occur to the general population, is 600 µg/m3 of PM10.

  2. Happy to have info – and long to senester after all from Denmark with my dance passion ??

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