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40°+ in the shade on Gran Canaria by Sunday, as heatwave expected to arrive this weekend and last several days

40°+ in the shade on Gran Canaria by Sunday, as heatwave expected to arrive this weekend and last several days

A heat wave has been expected since Wednesday, when it started to affect the Spanish Peninsula, and should reach the Canary Islands this weekend, and with some Calima haze too.

The Spanish State Meteorological Agency issued a special notice saying that “it is likely that as of Friday the warm mass from Africa will also begin to affect the Canary Islands, leading to a significant rise in temperatures and the beginning of a heat episode over the islands.”. Although the AEMET notice added that, “uncertainty” over the evolution of the event would mean their renewing the advisory notice.

Any expectation of 40° temperatures in the shade has now shifted to Sunday and the days that follow.

Risk of Forest Fires

During the 2019 forest fires we learned about the so-called 30/30/30 rule, where the danger of fires is increased if winds exceed 30 kmph, temperatures go over 30°C and humidity is below 30%.  This weekend we will have two out of three of those factors in play.

Gran Canaria and the western islands will be on high alert for forest fires as of this Friday, according to the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands.

An arrival of dry warm air from the African continent is expected to cause very high temperatures on the islands, exceeding 40°C on Gran Canaria, with the same potential for the other islands, with relative humidity at generally lower than 30%, in a heatwave that could also last until at least Thursday the 19th August, the Government reported.

The peaks and inland areas of the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, as of Friday the 13th, will be the first affected with high temperatures expected in the days following to head west, reaching the islands of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro, where there could be serious repercussions principally in inland and higher altitude areas, but descending in altitude as the days go by.

This Friday, starting with the north, below about 700 – 800 meters, some cloud during the morning with cloudy intervals forming on the coast during the later hours of the day. Elsewhere just a touch of cloud or clear. Calima dust from the nearby Sahara is starting to arrive at height from the afternoon. Temperatures rising, which will be most noticeable on the highest summits and inland areas, expected to reach or exceed 34°C in the shade, in the midlands of the south and west. On the coasts the ascent in temperatures will be light. Northeasterly winds, more intense on the southeast and northwest coasts during the afternoon, with a predominance of breezes on the southwest coasts. At the peaks, winds from the south, ranging from light to moderate.

Saturday will be generally clear, with some occasional medium and high cloud. Calima dust continuing, especially at altitude, causing significant reductions in visibility on summits. Rising temperatures, may be noticeable inland. 34°C in the shade will be exceeded in the northern midlands and on the southeast coast, with 37° – 39°C+ possible in the southern and western midlands and in the Tejeda Basin. Minimum temperatures indoors and at night are expected to remain high, above 24° – 26°C. Winds from the north to northeast, with strong intervals on the southeast coasts and in the extreme west during the afternoon, and breezes prevailing on the south and north coasts. At the summits, winds from the east to southeast with light intervals during the afternoon.

By Sunday, the morning is expected to be clear in general, with some occasional intervals of medium and high clouds, mainly during the first half of the day. Calima dust, especially at altitude, could cause reduced visibility on the summits. Rising temperatures, possibly more pronounced in some localities. 35° – 38°C will be exceeded across large areas of the islands, mainly inland. temperatures of 40°C in the shade likely to be reached or exceeded in the midlands of the south and west of Gran Canaria, as well as on Fuerteventura. Northeast winds, somewhat more intense at times, are expected in the extreme southeast and northwest of the islands. At the peaks, and inland, winds from the east to southeast.

The new week starts on Monday with clear skies in general, except for some high cloud cover. Calima, especially at height. Temperatures will see few changes though minimums could rise still further. 35° – 38°C will be exceeded across large areas of the islands, mainly inland. 40°C in the shade is likely to be reached or exceeded in the midlands of the south and west of Gran Canaria, as well as the interior of Fuerteventura. Northeast winds, with some strong intervals in the extreme southeast and northwest.

AEMET are warning that temperatures on the south west coast of Gran Canaria, Mogan, could reach as high as 44°C in the shade.

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