Sunny weather & pleasant temperatures on the Island of Eternal Spring

Tenerife is known as the Island of Spring, because of its mild climate throughout the year. The average temperatures in winter are around 20 degrees so it won't be too cold. In the summer months, it rarely gets warmer than 30 degrees. Of course, expections can sometimes occur.

Even during the day, temperatures vary only a little. For example on a winter day in the south, it can be 19-20 degrees in the morning and 24 degrees in the afternoon. Even the lowest night temperature does not go much under the daytime temperature. The climate is much different to the climate of most European countries.

Teide Nationalpark

There is one question that visitors have always been asking: Why is the weather in the summer much more pleasant in Tenerife than in other European countries, even though it is located directly next to the Sahara? There are 2 reasons for that:

The Canary Current

The main reason is the Canary Current, which is caused by the Gulf Stream. The stream comes from the Carribean Islands and it transports the warm water to Great Britain. There a second stream arises, that flows along the west of Europe and passes the Canary Islands. There it delivers the cold water masses from northern Europe, which function as natural air-conditioning. That's why the the climate is always more temperate than in the neighbouring West Africa.

The Trade Winds

The northeast trade winds make the second decisive factor. If those wouldn't exist, the Canary Islands would likely be uninhabited. They would only consist of desert sand. Reason for the trade winds is the fact that the air masses get heated the strongest at the equator. Then they rise up and build a gravure groove. In accordance with nature, the pressure difference balances out again. Therefore winds develop, that flow towards the equator. In the northern hemisphere, those are winds from the northeast. Those winds are quite constant. They bring evaporation and dampness, which can lead to rainfall and high humidity, espacially on the north coast of Tenerife. The best place to see that is the Orotava Valley above Puerto de la Cruz. There, it is often sunny and clear in the morning and in the afternoon clouds are piling up in the mountains. Then it can happen that clouds lie over Puerto de la Cruz. But that's different from day to day. In the end, the weather is often unpredictable. Here, meteorologists often fail. The weather forecast for this region is rather guessed than actually foreseen. Of course, the situation is different for the Atlantic low pressure areas. Those sometimes also hit Tenerife, and there are easier to foresee.

The weather divide

Tenerife has 3 mountains. They divide the north from the south. There are the Anaga Mountains near Santa Cruz, the Teno Mountains near Los Gigantes and the Teide national park in the middle. There you can also find Spain's highest mountain (3712m), the Teide. Due to the north east trade winds, it's colder and more humid in the north than in the south. The south is rather desertlike. So, Tenerife's north is the perfect place for hikers and nature lovers while in the south there is always sunshine, but at the same time not much vegetation.

Bad weather in Tenerife

There are 2 weather situations that could bring bad weather to the Island of Eternal Sping. First, the Atlantic low pressure areas, that can reach the Canary Islands and can stay for several days in the worst case. The good news is that such low pressure areas rather rarely occur.

The second bad-weather condition is the so called Calima. This is an east wind, which has its roots in the Sahel in Africa. It brings hot air of the desert to Tenerife and has different impacts on the island. Normally, then it gets cooler on the coasts than in higher altitudes. A Camila can lead to temperatures above 45 degrees, and also in the winter midsummer-like temperatures can occur. Usually, a Camila only lasts for 3 days, but sometimes it  won't go away for weeks. Due to the desert sand that is in the air, the view is very murky. The strength of the cloudiness is always different. Sometimes there only a light colouring of the sky that becomes yellowish. But the amount of the sand in the air can be so strong that you can barely see the sun anymore. It can get dangerous when the Calima lasts for a long time in the midsummer. The dry air dries the plants so that there is a high risk of forest fires.

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