Photo: Peter Louer.
Updated 23 November: It is even whiter today than it was yesterday! Just below is a video from Tenerife’s President, Carlos Alonso, showing what it’s like. The car was one of the few up there, though, because the access roads were closed this morning: they have subsequently been reopened but the authorities advise the public to avoid the area, though being resigned to people wanting to go up to see the snow and so asking drivers to take particular care. Anyone planning to go up to see the snow needs to check first whether any or all roads are open, or if there are cuts to carriageways, or even just significant delays: the way to do that is through the Cabildo’s roads website HERE.
Updated 22 November: As the weather returns to normal and the alerts from the Met Office and the Government are lifted, the cold wet spell has left something lovely in its wake … the first snows of the winter as seen by Peter Louer from just above Icod de los Vinos. A white Teide! Will we have a white Christmas again this year?!
Updated 20 November: Athough the wild seas are abating somewhat, Aemet says that the weather fronts passing us are likely to leave considerable rainfall over the next couple of days. The Met Office has issued a yellow alert, indeed, for tomorrow and Thursday for rain of up to 15mm/h primarily in the north and east, but the alert covers the whole of Tenerife.
Updated 18 November: A short sharp shock is along the lines of how the weather front that has just passed us was described, and this video shows why. Garachico was the focus of many videos last night of impressive waves sweeping over the coast road which had been closed to traffic because of the swell, and the first video below from MeteoLaMatanza shows what the town woke up to this morning as normal weather returns. The second video, also from MeteoLaMatanza, shows what the waves did to one distinctive block at Mesa del Mar on the Tacoronte coast (La Laguna): you’ll see the waves take out the balcony on the third floor … and by the time the video starts they’ve already taken out the balcony on the second!
Around 100 properties were evacuated on the north Tenerife coast because of the costeros, and the videos show as clearly as anything could how strong and destructive the sea is, and why the authorities are so frustrated when people risk their lives, and those of the rescue services, by going near the coast or even into the sea when there are official weather alerts.
Updated 16 November: Following Aemet’s orange alert for costeros in north Tenerife tomorrow, the Canarian Government has now itself issued an alert for costeros throughout the Canaries generally, and for a swell of up to 6.5m around the west and north coasts of Tenerife, 4m elsewhere. The alert is active from 3pm Saturday 17 November, and as an official alert, people will be expected to stay away from the coast and out of the sea.
Updated 15 November: As the forecasts firm up, Aemet says a second front will arrive on Saturday bringing much heavier rain, especially in the north. As part of the system, the seas will be wild, and Aemet has issued an orange alert for costeros: please be extremely careful near the coasts, and ideally stay out of the water altogether until the front passes.
Updated 14 November: The promised cold front has indeed seen the forecast clouds and lower temperatures, but rain has been patchy and mainly in the north over the last few days. From tomorrow, however, Aemet says that there will be showers increasing throughout the day. These will be especially evident in the north, increasing in the southeast. Winds are not likely to be strong but there could be some quite blustery spells in the west and north west, and some very high gusts at altitude.
Updated 9 November: The cold front that has seen temperatures drop a few degrees very recently, and will see them drop a few more in coming days, is also bringing some rain and, more noticeably, rough seas. The forecast for rain is that it will be patchy with showers mainly confined to the north, but it’s the state of the sea that is of concern. Already the road around the front of Garachico has been closed after being inundated, and Aemet has issued a yellow alert for costeros around much of north west Tenerife with some councils in the region closing beaches for security reasons. Please be very careful in or near the sea over coming hours and days.
Updated 25 October: And rain it did, with many areas of Tenerife experiencing a wet and stormy night with lightning illuminating the sky in north Tenerife especially, and many barrancos running with the very welcome sight of rushing water. One barranco, however, caused a scare when six people were rescued in Santa Cruz: two had taken shelter in the barranco del Camino del Hierro but were trapped by rising water, while another four who were living in destitution in a cave in the barranco de Santos also needed to be rescued, two of them being taken to hospital suffering with shock and hypothermia. Many roads have experienced some rockfalls or flooding, and the authorities call on all drivers to take extra care while out and about today. The weather system, however, is forecast to lessen over the coming hours, and at the moment there is no yellow alert beyond today.
Updated 23 October: As we might have anticipated, a yellow alert has now been issued for Tenerife for rain. Some 20mm/h are forecast from midnight tomorrow night and through the whole of Thursday 25th, and as usual the alert might be extended as time goes by.
Updated 21 October: It has been horrendous in southern Spain over the past 48 hours, with the Seville area on red alert for torrential rains, and with cars – and people – swept away, and one fireman dead in the Malaga area in his attempt to save a member of the public. It’s easing there, thankfully, but now the authorities in the Canaries’ western islands (Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro) have been told to get ready for some rain here over the next several days. At the moment, Aemet has issued a yellow alert for heavy rains and squally storms only for La Palma for Monday, but this could change over coming hours. We’re not on alert here, nor is the forecast bad for us, but it will at least get cloudy over the next few days, and the forecasts, and alerts, could extend to us in due course.
Updated 13 October: Leslie is on his way north, and the image on the right from Aemet shows quite how close he came to us even though no meteorologists ever predicted a direct hit. Nonetheless, the Met Office says that the hurricane’s proximity means that we can expect rain tomorrow because it has created a great deal of humidity which will be drawn back to us as rain by northerly winds.
I say “the hurricane” because despite projections of the storm losing force and becoming a tropical cyclone as it weakened, it has kept its strength, and as a result, Madeira and especially Portugal are now on alert for strong gales, torrential rain and very heavy seas. Our own seas here are not going to escape the effects either, and will be rougher than usual, so please exercise great care in the water even though all appears now largely to be over for us as far as Leslie is concerned. The current range of models for the projected direction of Leslie are below.
Updated 10pm: The Canarian Government says tonight that its Security and Emergencies Board is continuing to monitor the trajectory of Leslie though meteorological forecasts show it moving away from the islands, and indeed the latest projection shows it going even further north than Cadiz and entering Spain through Lisbon (see left, click to enlarge). The DGSE says that we can expect to see rain, wind and heavy seas this weekend but in line with normal autumnal weather, and below the levels at which Aemet would issue an alert. The Government nonetheless asks the public to pay attention to any alerts that might be issued should the situation change over the next 24-48 hours.
Updated 4pm: The latest and firmest so far projection from the Hurricane Centre via Aemet within the last half hour is for Leslie not to turn towards the Canary Islands, which remain completely outside of its influence. Obviously this can change, but so far we are looking good.
Updated 12 October: Aemet has said this morning that the latest projection of Leslie’s trajectory shows a change, with the centre of the storm now heading for the north of Madeira and then turning back towards the Canaries on Monday, not Sunday, but in a very much weaker form than at present. Further updates through the day, I’m sure, and you can click on the latest graphic (on the right) to see full size. Meanwhile, the graphic below shows the potential variations being projected, this is the current range of models showing Leslie’s possible behaviour over the next 48 hours or so. Many take it off up to the mainland, only a quarter or so show it coming our way … and those that do show it coming our way are green which mean we’ll get the lowest winds. This is a “work in progress”, clearly!
Updated 11 October: Just for clarification today … the Met Office and responsible amateur meteorologists are all saying that whatever is heard or read today about “Hurricane” (soon to be Tropical Storm) Leslie and its approach to and effect on the Canary Islands can be ignored because the storm is behaving erratically. No forecast prior to tomorrow evening can be taken as having any relevance because things are changing too much.
It still seems most likely that we will not get hit head on, that we will get some rain and, most noticeably, sustained winds of around 70 km/h (so with gusts up to 100km/h or so), but we will have to wait another 30 hours or so before we get a forecast projecting anything that can be relied on for Sunday when Leslie is likely to be at its nearest to us.
Updated 10 October: I had decided not to post regular updates because they create the impression of an imminent danger that needs to be monitored, and felt it was obvious that without any further news, the last update would be taken to continue to apply … but clearly people are worrying because they’re seeing so many discussions especially on social media about “Hurricane Leslie”.
So … the storm is indeed now a hurricane, but today’s projection from the Hurricane Centre via Aemet (see image left, click to see full size) shows a retrograde movement to the west away from the Canaries after the closest approach on Sunday. Aemet says that obviously forecasts can and do change, but at this moment, their forecast reiterates the original comments that I made, that it’s “unlikely that we’re going to get a “storm” but certainly we can expect temperatures to drop somewhat, some blustery winds, and possibly some rain at times in some places”.
The day by day forecast from Aemet for the Canaries, as things stand with all usual caveats in place, is that there could be some showers tomorrow and it could be breezy, stable weather on Friday, possibility of showers on Saturday. Beyond that, with the current projection models available, Leslie should be closest to us on Sunday, and so we can expect further updates nearer that point.
Updated 8 October: Although we’ve clearly seen some effect from being skirted by this borrasca, it is now very unlikely to have any further effect on us at all. Despite being called “a hurricane” it is actually “Tropical Storm Leslie”, and it’s heading away from us after coming towards us for a few days. This is Aemet’s latest projection from the Hurricane Centre of its path, to the north and east and still quite a way from Tenerife, and becoming more distant as the hours pass.
Updated 7 October: I’m not sure that the forecast is really any clearer for Tenerife but the borrasca identified as approaching from the west has now seen La Palma put on yellow alert from this afternoon for rains. How near us this will get is still unclear but it seems very likely that there will be some evidence of it in the build up of clouds, winds and showers over the next few days.
Original post 5 October: It’s not “winter”, of course, and in fact we’re only just into Autumn, but the first real weather system of autumn/winter 2018-19 is almost with us. Already we can see the build of up clouds brought by a borrasca (atmospheric depression) kept at bay for some weeks to the west of the Canaries by 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. Now, though, the borrasca is approaching us, and could bring rain to some parts of the western islands and winds which will be felt at altitude especially. The forecast for the next several days is still being developed and it is unlikely that we’re going to get a “storm” but certainly we can expect temperatures to drop somewhat, some blustery winds, and possibly some rain at times in some places: the following video from MeteoLaMatanza shows the graphics of the approach. Winter’s coming …
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