Canary Islands Weather
Statistically the sunniest region in Europe, the Canaries are described by excitable marketing people as perpetual spring, with plentiful sunshine, little rain or humidity and temperatures around 18C in winter and 25C in summer with occasional extremes above 30C in mid-summer.
However, this doesn’t mean that the skies are endlessly blue (note the amount of cloud in our photos) so keep expectations down to a reasonable level!
Wind is common throughout the islands but particularly blowy on Fuerteventura – brilliant for wind or kite surfing – so days idly sunbathing can end with visitors sandblasted rather than sunburned. Dust storms (see Calima below) also occasionally blow in from Africa.
La Palma island is the exception to the little rain rule, seeing a fair amount of grey skies and precipitation but as a result is greener than the other Canary Islands.
Confusingly Las Palmas (capital of Gran Canaria) enjoys the best climate in the Canaries and in the entire world (according to a US climatologist).
Note that there is also a significant difference in local weather patterns with those islands nearer to Africa being hotter and drier while on each island the northwest coasts tend to be cooler and wetter than the southeast coasts so visitors might choose accommodation in the south in winter but in the north in summer.
Water temperatures are not very warm, ranging from 18C in winter to 22C in summer and the seas are frequently rough. The Canaries are embedded in the famously vast, cool and turbulent Atlantic Ocean so what do you expect?
The Calima: Every so often, particularly during the summer months, a climatic condition known as The Calima occurs. This is basically a dust storm blasted across from the Sahara that causes an unpleasant, gritty fog which not only discourages beach action and makes sightseeing and picture-taking less enjoyable but also may trigger allergic reactions or breathing difficulties in sensitive people.
The Calima can last from an hour to a week.
Spanish visitors tend to holiday in the Canaries in the summer months of July and August, Europeans the rest of the year.