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The Fine Weather on Canary Islands

by Katarina Vancroft 2 years ago in europe

Canary Islands are the best locations in Europe, having a long summer season in addition to a busy and successful winter season.

Playa de las americas

Over the past two decades, the Canary Islands have been one of the primary holiday destinations for Europeans seeking warmer winter weather, without having to travel too far.

Of course, the weather is a crucial consideration for any location trying to establish itself as a holiday destination. The Canaries are almost unique in Europe, in benefiting from warm, dry weather for most of the year.

The length of exceptional weather periods is also significant, in terms of how viable a holiday resort can be for any businesses that rely on tourism. In that respect the Canaries are also among the best locations in Europe, having a long summer season in addition to a busy and successful winter season.

Of course, their location is unique in Europe, as they lie over 600 miles south of the nearest part of mainland Europe and are much closer to the North African countries of Morocco and Western Sahara. It is the Sahara desert that brings the dry weather to the Canary Islands and makes the chance of rain very slim.

The air that has passed over the vast expanse of the Sahara desert has been warmed and shriveled before it touches the islands, meaning that the air temperature of the islands very unusually drops to anything that can be represented as cold. The Saharan winds can, however, mix up clouds of dusty air and send them across the sea to the Canaries. These are more widespread during February and March and are generally not a significant problem, certainly not during the main periods of peak tourist activity.

The weather systems that produce and control the area around the islands is made up of several essential components. In addition to the impact of the Sahara desert, the Atlantic Gulf stream is also a significant contributor. This warm stream of Atlantic Ocean water commences in the Gulf of Mexico and moves swiftly across the Atlantic towards Europe and North-Western Africa where it re-circulates.

The impact of the tail end of the Gulf Stream can affect the climate of this part of the world. More particularly, when the Gulf Stream stretches to Europe, it becomes known as the North Atlantic Drift and breaks into two regions.

The northern component which travels upwards along the west coast of Ireland is said to significantly contribute to warmer temperatures, while the southern component (also known as the Canary Current) has a slightly less significant effect, as temperatures are already warmer in that part of the East Atlantic.

Other than the higher altitude volcanic regions that caused the creation of the islands formerly, some three million years ago, there are no other high mountain areas anywhere near the Canaries. This prevents any frequent nature of wet weather. From the East, rain clouds usually form out over the Atlantic and are driven towards the islands from the West.

The warm re-circulating Gulf Stream air has the effect of diverting most of the wet weather systems to the north before they reach the Canaries, leading to dry conditions for most of the time. Of course, the islands are not totally without rain; otherwise, they would not have been so successful in terms of agriculture.

There are still significant producers of several crops such as bananas and tomatoes, but these are typically berries that need long spells of dry days of full sunshine, as is often found on the islands. The wettest month in the Canaries is December, with the summer months of June, July, and August having barely any rain at all.

In terms of temperature, cold weather does not emphasize either. Ordinary daytime temperatures infrequently fall below 15 degrees Celsius, even throughout winter, and maximum daytime temperatures can pass up to twenty degrees Celsius during any part of the year.

So the holiday islands of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, and La Palma really do have the benefit of weather patterns unique amongst European countries, and as such, they are set to remain as trendy tourist destinations for years to come.


Katarina Vancroft

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