An epic battle has been raging over The Canary Islands, although you might be hard pressed to have spotted it.
A cold front to the west of us raised alarm bells earlier this week, and has now started to mix with a rainstorm in the mid-atlantic, which has been whipping up warnings of incoming and unpredictable rain expected over the western islands.
Meanwhile, warm subtropical air has been pulled in off the African continent and up from the equator, creating an unseasonably warm air system over the eastern islands. By the end of the week we will discover how the clash between these two mighty systems, one warm and the other cold and wet, is likely to play out.
But for now, it seems, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are all in for balmy temperatures in the mid to upper 20s, with a touch of Saharan dust in the air, while all eyes look to the west, awaiting any sign of those cold wet squalls rolling in off the mid Atlantic and currently thundering towards La Palma, El Hierro, La Gomera and Tenerife.
The Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) have downgraded the probability of rain on Gran Canaria and on Wednesday announced that this weekend they are expecting “a very adverse situation in terms of precipitation, and wind in the highlands and midlands” particularly in the western half of the Canary Islands.
According to atmospheric models, an Atlantic rainstorm, located south of the Azores, is expected to interact with a subtropical band of cloud, heavily laden with moisture and located a further south, to the west of the Canary islands archipelago.
“The frontal systems associated to the low pressure centre will affect mainly the western half of the Canary Islands, where a very adverse situation is expected in terms of precipitation, and wind in mid-altitude and high areas” AEMET said in a statement.
The western islands can expect heavy and persistent precipitation mainly on the southern and western slopes, which could be locally strong or very strong and be accompanied by isolated storms.
At some points the deluge could reach more than 20 litres of rainfall an hour, for every square meter, or up to sixty over a twelve hour period.
The winds will be from the south, strong inland, at mid-altitude and in higher areas, with the possibility of very strong gusts.
On the central summits of Tenerife, very strong wind will blow from the south with gusts exceeding 75 kilometres per hour.
According to available data, it is possible that on Sunday the showers and storms will continue, more likely to be intense in the west of the archipelago.
“With a high degree of uncertainty, the models predict that by late Sunday 26 the storm will begin to move west, away from the Canary Islands, and that weather conditions in the archipelago will slowly start to improve into the Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 “, said the AEMET report.
On Friday the forecast for the eastern islands, and Gran Canaria, is for a day of little cloud with intervals of medium and high clouds and temperatures maintained in the upper 20s, with highs of 27˚C in the shade.
On the western islands however, the weather is expected to turn increasingly cloudy blowing in from from west to east, with probability of locally moderate showers affecting mainly southern and western slopes; by the end of the day AEMET have not ruled out that there could be locally strong downpours accompanied by isolated storms on La Palma and El Hierro. Temperatures look set to rise slightly. With moderate winds from the south, gaining intensity inland and in high areas.
Through the weekend it looks like here on the east of the Archipelago we may some some mid-altitude and high cloud, there will be some Saharan dust suspended in the air and warm winds from the south, which should, with luck, keep those cold wet winds to the west well away from Gran Canaria.
Meanwhile Orange Advisories are currently in place for the western isles who have a good chance of a drenching this weekend.
There may well be opportunity for some great sunsets here on Gran Canaria and we may even see some electrical activity at night out to our west, with temperatures here in the east looking set to maintain highs of around 27˚C in the shade day time and dropping to between 18 & 20˚ at night.