Calima on Tenerife - the warm & hot east-wind "desert-wind"
Imagen following situation: You spend you holidays on Tenerife the biggest of the Canary Islands and one morning you wake up, look out of the window and wonder why it is so dusty. - It is Calima!
The »weather« on Tenerife
The Canary Islands are well-known for its mild and Mediterranean-subtropical climate. The temperatures don't change much during the year. Mostly there are between 21 to 27°C. But in midsummer it is possible that the temperatures rise up to 35°C. This doesn't happen very often. The average temperature during the entire year is around 24°C. So you have the perfect weather in all seasons to visit the Canary Island.
Tenerife - "Island of the eternal spring"
Due to the mild climate Tenerife is also called the „Island of the eternal spring“. The Island is divided in the south and north due to the climate. You can also see the different in the landscape! While the north is green and has nice vegetation the south look dryer. The division of the climate happens because of the mountain chain. The Anaga-mountains and the Teno-mountains build together with the Las Cañadas del Teide the limit and affect the weather.
The temperatures in the south are more constant as in the north. This is because of the topographic position. The temperatures on the south coast are always a bit higher because of the trade winds from the north-east that brings the trade clouds. The trade clouds take more aqueous vapour, don't get over the mountains and drizzle above the pine forests and laurel forests. Sometimes there is strong wind in the south e.g. in El Médano. Due to the wind El Medano has the perfect conditions to be the hot spot to do wind surfing, kite surfing and surfing.
On Tenerife everyone will find a place and something to do. No matter which climate zone you choose, there are (sport) activities, sun, beaches and the sea. Tenerife is a good holiday destination in every season of the year.
Tenerife - near Africa
Geographically and climatic Tenerife belongs to Africa. Morocco and the Western Sahara are "just" around 250km away from Tenerife while the Spanish mainland is around 1300km away. So it is not surprising that sometimes the Sahara-winds arrive on Tenerife? When a high pressure area develops over the Sahara, the temperatures rise, the humidity falls and the winds get to Tenerife.
The warm or hot east-wind from Africa which gets to the Canary Islands is called Calima. The Calima does not just bring warm temperatures but also dusty and sand. The humidity falls, the temperature rises, the air gets dusty and you can't see as far as usually. This is why the Calima gets also called Bruma seca („dry fog“).
There is no special season for a Calima. It can happen anytime.
Calima, Calima, Calima...
So it can happen that there is a Calima during your holidays. First indications are the rising of temperatures and the dust in the air. Some holiday makers who are not used to a Calima can feel sick and have problems with their health. Circulatory problems are happening. So please drink enough during this time.
Another problem could be the respiratory tract irritation. Due to the small and finely sand the lung and the respiratory tract can get irritated. The body is trying to protect you and you might get a cough to get rid of the dust.
Also pilots and the airplanes can have problems when there is a Calima. The impaired vision and the wind from the east can cause problems. But the airlines know early enough about the weather, so they shouldn't have any problems.
Even more Calima...
Sometimes the east-wind from the Sahara is very strong. The humidity falls extremely and the temperatures rise up to 50°C. Also the nights are really warm and this weather can become dangerous. Hot air together with hot wind from Africa dries out everything and the danger of fires in the nature rises. Tiny sparks can be enough to create a huge fire, so please do not throw cigarettes and thing like that in the nature. The danger of forest fires is very high in the summer. In winter the air is a bit colder and the danger is not as big as in summer but the danger is always present.
Calima during your holidays on Tenerife?
When you are on holidays on Tenerife – and there is a Calima you will see there is a little light dust layer on cars and other things on the outside. This weather phenomenon can stay for a couple of weeks but it will be over at some point. So just think about this weather as a once in a lifetime experience and make the best of it.
Experience a weather phenomenon... Sahara – Sand on Tenerife!