Sunday, 23 August 2020

Tenerife Weather Tips


I try to avoid mentioning the weather on Tenerife where possible as it’s a topic that has been done to death. But it is understandably important and yet still many people get it completely wrong. Subsequently the weather on Tenerife is as misrepresented as the populist image that Tenerife is one big dry rock that is like a Britain in the sun circa 1987 where Rick Astley adds the soundtrack and the whiff of dated pub grub like chilli con carne provides the aromas.

Forget Tenerife weather forecasts that give one, or even two forecasts for Tenerife and forget the tired old saying the south is sunny and dry, the north is cloudy and wet; it’s just not as simple as that.

Here are 10 tips to understanding the weather on Tenerife starting with the big misconception.

Puerto de la Cruz in December, Los Cristianos in March

The South is Sunny, the North is Cloudy
The south is sunnier, drier and warmer than the north, that’s a fact. But it’s all relative. Tour operators and people who don’t know the north of Tenerife will state with confidence that it’s cloudy, cool and wet.  Consider these other facts. The bulk of settlers, noblemen and artists chose the north of Tenerife to live in following the conquest in 1496. When Victorians were sent to a temperate climate for the benefit of their health, they were sent to the north of Tenerife. Temperatures in the depths of winter don’t normally drop much below 20C (68F) and it stays in the upper 20s to low 30s in summer. The north of Tenerife can be cloudy and it can rain in winter months but it isn’t the default setting.

There are not, like one half-wit on a travel forum stated, only 3 days sunshine a year in Puerto de la Cruz.

What Do temperatures in Celsius Actually Mean?
I get the impression from various online discussions that some people don’t understand Celsius so when the weather forecast for Tenerife says it’s going to be 20C or 30C, it doesn’t mean a great deal.
20c is 68F and generally speaking the ‘coolest’ daytime temperature in Tenerife’s coldest winter months (Mid January to end of February). In Palma Majorca at the same time it is 11C and in Malaga it is 12C.
30C is a whopping 86F. You might think that sounds great but lie in it for any length of time and you’ll be charcoaled. Around 25C (77F) is perfect and that is what all of Tenerife’s coasts experience for much of the year.

Rain in Tenerife
Yes it does rain on Tenerife, even in the south but not much and usually not for long. In the north, where there is more rain, it often falls in winter, at night and doesn’t last long. Short, very heavy downpours are common during seasonal changes (i.e. summer to winter and winter to spring). Most rainfall will happen in the hills.

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