Watching for Weather Alerts in Tenerife

Wed, October 22nd, 2014 - By Jack Montgomery

Many visitors get their weather forecasts from sources that reduce Tenerife to north and south. Most sources are like an abridged, woolly version of weather forecasting and don’t accurately reflect what’s happening in different locations on Tenerife.

The Spanish Meteorological Office, whilst not perfect, break their forecasts into municipalities. This is the source we use for accurate forecasts, especially as they also issue weather alerts.


AEMet_forecast copy


Knowing bad weather is on the way helps us prepare, take action to reduce any potential damage. It also means we know when to avoid doing anything that would put ourselves or others in danger.

Being prepared involves knowing what these weather alerts are and what they mean.

Weather Alerts on Tenerife – Levels
There are four levels; green, yellow, orange and red. Green is the normal state of affairs and the colour you’ll see most days if you visit the AEMet website. Basically it means everything in the garden is rosy. Yellow means bad weather, but not necessarily seriously so – take care and keep an eye on the situation. Orange is where we start to worry as there are some scary conditions heading our way. And red is… well ‘extreme risk’ is how the Spanish Met Office puts it. Thankfully that one is extremely rare.

When weather alerts are issued, they don’t always affect the whole of Tenerife and the Spanish Met Office also issues quite detailed advice about where could be affected most.


AEMet_map copy


Types of Weather Alerts on Tenerife

We can experience heavy downpours on Tenerife, especially during the change of seasons. This can lead to dangerous conditions such as what happened in October 2014 when heavy rainfall resulted in flooding and raging rivers coursing down from the mountains devastating the likes of Santa Cruz in the east and Playa San Juan/Alcala/ Playa de la Arena in the south west.

Mostly the strongest winds blow way up in the hills, so any walkers need to keep an eye out for alerts even if it’s calm and sunny at the coast. Atlantic storms that stray too close can sometimes bring serious winds to coastal areas.

Thunder and Lightning
Often more spectacular than anything else. The storm mentioned above also brought thousands of lightning strikes and booming thunder that sounded like the world was ending.


Rain on Tenerife


Some visitors see soaring temperatures and rub their hands together. Don’t be fooled. Any alert means potential danger and people have died of heat exhaustion because they ignored warnings.

The Sea
Simply classed as ‘costeros’ on the Spanish Met Office site, in some ways this is one of the most dangerous as an alert for wild seas doesn’t just mean potential danger for mariners. The sea can look calm, it can be hot and sunny and there might not be a breath of wind and suddenly huge waves crash against the shore, sweeping away everything in their path. Unfortunately this can include people who didn’t know about, or ignored, warnings.


Waves on Tenerife


In winter months, although sunshine is the default setting, weather alerts can be more common. Most are so minor (the yellow ones), they wouldn’t even be noticed by visitors from Northern Europe.

However, it is always worth keeping an eye out for them. Even a paradise island with the perfect climate has blips now and again.

Posted : Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 11:48 am
Category : about tenerife
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