Winter 2017-18 season weather: wild seas see lucky escape in Puerto Santiago and beaches closed in La Orotava

Winter 2017-18 season weather: wild seas see lucky escape in Puerto Santiago and beaches closed in La Orotava

Photo: Parque Nacional Teide.

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

  2. Author

    Thanks John

  3. 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.

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