Update: AEMET have now increase the weather warning for Tenerife to danger level orange, with temperatures expected to exced 38°C this week.
The Spanish met office (AEMET) has issued an important weather warning starting this Sunday for extreme temperatures in the southern areas of Tenerife. The northern coast is unaffected by this alert and temperatures here should remain normal for the time of year.
Temperatures for the south are expected to reach 36°C on Monday and the heat wave is expected to last at least until the end of the week. The forecast currently suggests the temperatures will get even hotter at the end of the week with temperatures predicted to be up to 38°C.
Tenerife is normally cooled by the trade winds coming from the north, but tomorrow the winds are expected to shift bringing hot winds from Saharan Africa. Tenerife is only approximately 270 miles west of the Sahara desert and easterly winds can bring extremely hot wind, sometimes carrying sand.
These hot weather conditions are known as ‘sirocco’ and temperatures in the south of the island can soar into the mid-30s, carrying dangerously low levels of humidity that can cause respiratory problems.
Sanidad, the Canarian health authority, have warned people who could be at a higher risk of heat stroke include the young, elderly and people with chronic illness. You should drink water regularly to keep the body temperature down, so make sure you carry a bottle of water with you during the heat wave and avoid drinking alcohol.
Symptoms of heat stroke include heart palpitations, nausea, light headedness and fainting.
The authorities are also extremely concerned about the risk of forest fires after huge fires destroyed large areas of forest, livestock and private property on Tenerife and La Gomera last summer, and urge the public to take extreme care to void fires i.e. Do Not throw cigarettes out of car windows.
Fires, firework and BBQ’s have been banned from the forest areas as the conditions are like a tinderbox.