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Weather: Gran Canaria issues snowfall alert

Weather: Gran Canaria issues snowfall alert

Following a week of rain and wind across the archipelago and the Spanish State Meteorological Agency AEMET predictions of potential snowfall, reported earlier this week, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria has today activated the Insular Emergency Plan in the event of the snowfalls expected on the summits, issuing a snowfall alert from 8pm on Friday evening.

The Island Government reported the snowfall alert on social networks expecting temperatures continuing to drop making snow more likely from midnight, as we enter the second weekend of January and with the effects of the storm ‘Filomena’ still being felt across the Archipelago.

Snow is now forecast to fall in the higher altitude area known as Los Pechos and across the central summit area above 1500m. The Cabildo has warned several roads in the area are either impassable due to rockfalls or indeed will be closed as a preventative safety measure, so the population is asked to refrain from heading up the mountain to visit the snowfalls until at least two days have passed, when the situation can be better controlled.

Likewise, the Cabildo has decided to close recreational areas and camping areas affected by the alert, which are being evacuated tonight.

Snow is not unknown in the subtropical Canary Islands, though more usually affects mount Teide on Tenerife.  Every two or three years the north winds bring colder than usual temperatures to the islands coinciding with rainfall bringing some frost and a dusting of snow to the mountain summits of the higher altitude islands.  Though usually short lived, these snowfalls have been known to be heavy enough and last long enough for winter sports enthusiasts to get their skis out for a few days, often while tourists continue to sunbathe on the beaches of the south. 

The highest point on Gran Canaria, at 1,949m, is known as Pico de Las Nieves (Peak of The Snows) which offers one of the most majestic views over The Cumbres (The Summits) at any time of year, which on a clear day is crowned with a view of Spain’s highest mountain Teide.

 

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