Following a weekend of real squall, especially on Tenerife and the western islands, writes Gran Canaria daily La Provincia, an autumn anticyclone yesterday erased the seasonal wet weather from the map, with temperatures recorded in Maspalomas, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, climbing up beyond 35ºC .
A mini heatwave accentuated the previous day’s wind chill with a layer of warm air from the African continent and the presence of a haze, known locally as Calima, in the upper reaches of the atmosphere. A mixture that caused the Canary Islands Government to activate an alert for high temperatures which are expected to begin to subside from tomorrow (Friday).
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A powerful anticyclone, located over the archipelago yesterday shot temperatures through the roof, with 35ºC in the shade being recorded by one-thirty in the afternoon in the county of Agüimes on the eastern side of the popular sub-tropical island of Gran Canaria. The Canary islands, not for the first time, saw the highest temperatures throughout Spain, as measured by the State Meteorological Agency AEMET.
Thermometers in direct sunlight showed up to 38º in some parts of the capital of Gran Canaria. From early morning the heat increased remarkably, with the peaks and midland areas reporting 26º and higher.
Victor Quintero, from the Meteorological Agency, explained to La Provincia yesterday that the high pressure surrounding the anticyclone shifted the storm to the northwest pulling a flow of hot air out toward the Atlantic from the African continent, bringing with it also at high altitude Calima or the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) .
As a result of this month of October is seeing some maximum temperatures more usually experienced in late August and early September. The Canary Islands Government issued a pre-alert of the situation, while the Meteorological Agency are keeping the yellow alert in effect for today on the islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, all of which are again expected to reach 34ºC in the shade, especially in midland areas and the southern slopes and coastlines.
The yellow warning will be deactivated, at least in theory, by six o’clock this evening today.
On Friday, according to the same source, we will “perceive a sharp decline” from these values, which will be most noticeable in midland areas and at altitude from Friday.
The wind, is expected to be similar to yesterday also, with strong gusts expected today, an average sustained wind speed of around 37 kmph was seen yesterday in Agüimes, with powerful gusts of up to 52 kmph, while in Maspalomas speeds averaged around 40 kmph for much of the day.
To the north thermometers saw 33ºC in the shade, in coastal towns like Arucas, yet this contrasted with a slightly cooler 25.8 degrees Tejeda.
Return to Autumn by Monday
The intense heat is expected to be maintained tomorrow morning, with winds from the northeast, but will start to fall from the afternoon and by Saturday morning a more moderate start to the day with temperatures lower.
In any case, based on the current data available, the October mini-heatwave is expected to last the weekend and by Monday or Tuesday the Canaries should return to more autumnal conditions.
The pre-alert for high temperatures from the Canary Islands Government provides a number of recommendations to avoid risk, for yourself and others, especially among the young and the elderly.
Keep hydrated, plenty of fluids, close doors and windows to keep excessively warm air out of the home, avoid physical exercise in the middle of the day and definately avoid drinking alcoholic beverages to combat thirst, among various other precautions.