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Tenerife Times Home arrow Tenerife Geography arrow Just what is a Tenerife Calima?
Just what is a Tenerife Calima? PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 68
Written by Michael Hopkins   
Wednesday, 22 November 2006
I have often heard the word Calima talked about when I am on holiday in Tenerife and I was wondering just what a Calima is, what does a Calima do and why do Calima’s occur in Tenerife? So I thought I would do a little investigation into Calima’s


A Calima is a hot and often very oppressive dust and sand laden wind that covers the Canary Islands and Tenerife occasionally during the winter months but more often in the summer. The Calima blows from an area of high pressure usually over Northern Africa and the Sahara and is driven by South Easterly winds out into the Atlantic and over Tenerife.

Calima’s can last anything from a few hours up to over a week and during a Calima, the air in Tenerife turns a red/brownish shade due to the Saharan dust and sand. This phenomenon is often mistaken by visitors as haze or overcast weather however, a quick glance at any surface will show a fine film of sand, this is one of the after effects of the Calima, during a Calima in January 2002, the Santa Cruz International Airport had to be closed because visibility dropped below 50 meters.

The temperature during a Calima in Tenerife often increases due to the warm air being trapped by the heavy sand in the atmosphere and temperatures in the high 30’s Kind thanks to www.OBS-NICE.FR

are often recorded. Local men often say that the only way to survive a Calima is to sit in a sealed room with a fan and a fridge full of Ice cold beer whilst the local women often say they have to go to the best air conditioned shopping mall’s!!

Often the Calima extends beyond Tenerife and the Canary Islands, infact, these winds have been know to travel as far as the Carribean at times and in July 2000, it was recorded that almost 8 million tons of dust from a Calima reached Puerto Rico.

Pictures courtesy of www.obs-nice.fr 

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I was in Lanzarote in july 04 and temp was 43c in a calima.

Posted by ken fitzsimons, on 04/03/2009 at 16:20

My Mum sent me an email saying the temperature on 28th April was 45C and getting hotter. Is this for real?

Posted by Lee, Whose homepage is http://www.cannycookie.com on 04/30/2008 at 11:25

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