Friday, November 30, 2012

Gold for La Gomera firefighters

A prestigious national Spanish jury (APAS) has awarded this year's gold medal for firefighting to a brigade from La Gomera who heroically battled the forest fires for many weeks in the national park and finally succeeded in extinguishing a three miles long front that was  extremely difficult to reach on the ground and could not even be tackled from the air. This fire-front also spread to thickly forested cliffs in a ravine and was even burning underground through roots and other organic matter. Had this fire not been put out it would have posed a grave danger to valley and town of Vallehermoso.
The jury also commended the work by all the many other brigades and organisations involved in battling this year's fires. The 'Batefuegos' Gold award is an initiative that intends to reduce the number of forest fires that are caused each year in Spain.
For a video of another brigade in action on La Gomera this summer click:
See also new page 'Fire on La Gomera 2012' (tab beside 'Home')
The front mentioned above is seen in the top left of the picture (August 2012)  © acfi press

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weather better today in Canaries

As I write there's a howling gale blowing with blustery showers occasionally pelting the roof. Don't despair, however, as today should bring more sunny spells than yesterday and the winds should ease for a while. For the forecast see yesterdays post  Weather remaining unsettled  and don't trust the forecast being put out by the electronic gadgets (some of them on this blog). Just for a laugh I'll give you a GOOGLE translation of the official AEMET forecast for today :

"CLOUD mostly cloudy, with light rain LOCALLY MODERATE IN NORTHERN ISLANDS most striking and possibility of rainWEAK IN THE REST, more likely, in Lanzarote and FUERTEVENTURA. Falling temperatures, BEING LIGHT IN COSTS And moderate in mediocrity. NORTHEAST WINDS moderate to strong,More intense in southeast and northwest COASTS AND mediocrities."

A bit on the mediocre side, isn't it - but light in costs as regards central heating bills, I suppose. Here's the surface analysis just published by OWS ( left) and the HIRLAM model for precipitation by AEMET  right):
Yesterday there was heavy rain in the eastern Canary Islands . Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote, was  particularly hard-hit with flooding. 

No weather alerts  have been issued for today.                                                                

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Weather remaining unsettled

UPDATE 7.30 pm:

Beginning of sunset 27/11/12
End of sunset 27/11/12

Loads of light showers today in Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera. The mountains in the north had heavier rain and the near-gale winds from the north blew the rain as drops-to-drizzle light rain into the valley, while the sun was shining from the sea in the south, illuminating the scene. Great day for rainbow spotters. All in all it was a more interesting 'soft day' than expected and very windy for the Canaries. The weather in Britain and in the Republic of Ireland is just sooo bad these days that here in the Canary Islands we really seem to be in 'The Fortunate Islands', never mind the economy. 

Today 8:30am:      The low pressure system has passed over the Canary Islands and is now slowly  filling and dissipating over Morocco. A trough will form to the NE of the Canaries. For today, Tuesday, there still is a warning of strong winds and heavy seas in effect, particularly for the second half of the day.
The forecast for the next few days is for longer sunny periods with scattered showers, some heavy but of short duration and more frequent in the northern parts of the islands. Winds will be moderate to strong northeasterly, stronger on high ground. Temperature will be normal for this time of the year with average values of 18-23ºC. Sea water temperature is still high with around 22ºC.


The wind will in future be of more use here on La Gomera, as two huge wind turbines of 44 metre diameter (130ft) and 77m (230ft) total height are being planned to be be built in a remote area that now only houses the island's new landfill rubbish dump. The generators' combined power output will be up to 1,8 megawatts and will be fed into the grid. The project is awaiting an environmental impact study, as there  are ravens breeding in the area. Well, they would, wouldn't they - the dump being better than a convenience store nearby...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weather update Nov. 26th, 2012

 Warnings in effect
The minor storm system has not quite followed the forecasts ! It is beginning to fill and will soon be just a gale with scattered squally showers. It will be tracking SE, passing directly over the Canary Islands, towards the western Sahara, and it will begin to dissipate later today. The altered track is responsible for the now mainly easterly gale force winds, which should later ease and become cyclonic variable, before strengthening again from westerly directions. The winds will be gusty and and may be locally stronger, especially in or near mountainous areas. Precipitation over the Canaries has become less organised, but scattered blustery showers and isolated thunderstorms could turn up anywhere. However, longer sunny spells are expected as well.
Taken this morning
Personally, this is a feast for me as we didn't have this kind of 'Irish weather' for more than a year and I was getting homesick  ;-). It's another story when you arrive here hoping for a precious week of pure sunshine after the miserable weather in Britain and Ireland. As a consolation the gales and the showers are WARM here  -  and they don't last long.
Gale warning remains in effect, and a warning of a heavy Atlantic swell.
Walking and hiking in exposed areas and on high ground is not recommended.
Take extra care when driving.
Above: Arrow showing centre of depression at 9am
Below: Latest isobaric chart (OPC)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Morning shower ! (taken at 9am) It did brighten up after that.
For more information on the weather situation go to previous post or click:

Weather warnings in Canary Islands Nov. 25th+26th

Chart for today
UPDATE 3:30 pm:
The rain this morning wasn't too bad and the wind  is still moderate, but meteorologists
here say that the low pressure system is only a little bit slower than expected in its development and that there is more to come. All warnings remain in effect until Tuesday morning or until further notice. I'll keep you informed.
UPDATE 9:30 pm:
No new developments to report. In the west of Ireland the day would have been called 'a soft day'...
Warnings for tonight and tomorrow remain, though.
Stormy skies, but the next sunny spell is coming in from the west... (taken at 3:30 pm)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weather warnings in Canary Islands Nov. 25th+26th

Storm expected

A rapidly developing system of low pressure just to the northwest of the Canary Islands  will affect our weather from later tonight. This minor storm is expected to track southerly very close to the archipelago and strong to storm force winds can be expected on Sunday and Monday, with locally severe gusts. Heavy showers of rain, some prolonged, have also been predicted and isolated thunderstorms are possible. 
Weather warnings for all of the Canaries have been issued: 
Showers, at times heavy and prolonged, are expected from Saturday night until and including Monday.
Winds to reach gale force to strong gale force at times will develop on Sunday, and may reach 60-65 mp/h (90-100 km/h) in gusts on exposed higher ground on Monday. Winds will be initially from the SW, then veering W and later from northerly directions.
Waves in coastal areas are expected to rise to 4m (12ft)  later on Sunday and may be higher in exposed coastal areas and on the open sea on Monday with a heavy swell.
It will feel cooler with the temperature dropping a couple of degrees.
The storm system should dissipate on Tuesday/Wednesday.
For those who speak Spanish here is the special storm bulletin by AEMET:
The isobaric chart for Sunday

Friday, November 23, 2012

New page added: Fire on La Gomera 2012

Due to the continuing strong interest in the fires that affected La Gomera this summer and the many anxious questions from many parts of the world, I have added a separate page with the title: 'Fire on La Gomera 2012' to this blog. If you click that on the tabs bar above (below the title) you will find the page that contains a summary of the events, a list of previous posts relevant to the subject and additional images. The page will be further expanded and updated when needed.
The new page will hopefully help to promote La Gomera and correct some of the impressions that various exaggerated media reports left after the fire.
La Gomera was injured, but is recovering fast !

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rebellion on La Gomera

Tomorrow, 21st of November, is the 524th anniversary of the the last great rebellion of the original inhabitants of La Gomera, the Guanches, against the Castilian conquerors of the island and their governor Hernan Peraza the Younger in 1488. Perazas grandfather, Hernan the Elder, had previously sealed a pact of peace with with the original inhabitants and their chieftains in a ceremony of brotherhood that involved the drinking of milk from a traditional earthenware pot. This pact set down rules and laws for both parties and later was repeatedly broken by Hernan the Younger, who despite having ratified the agreement began treating the population with great brutality and selling many as slaves abroad. The local chieftains subsequently held court and condemned Peraza to die, and to symbolise the end of the pact the earthenware pot was broken. His assassination by a local warrior, Hautacuperche, took place as he was caught in the act of breaking the pact yet again, and this was the start of a full-scale uprising of the local population who besieged the stronghold of the ruling Spaniards, the 'Torre del Conde' (which still stands in San Sebastian de La Gomera and is open to the public) and Peraza's wife, Beatriz de Bobadilla (who is said to have had an affair with Christopher Columbus later), had great difficulties in defending it. She called for reinforcements from the governor of Gran Canaria, who sent 400 veteran solders to La Gomera. The rebellion was put down with awesome brutality and in the end local males over the age of 15 were cruelly executed and the remaining youngsters were sold into slavery. Part of this barbarity was blamed on the vindictiveness of Peraza's widowed wife, whose excessive brutality even came to the attention of the rulers of Spain, and a committee of enquiry was established that held lengthy deliberations centred on the question whether Guanches had souls. Finally the governor of Gran Canaria as well as Beatriz de Bobadilla were admonished and most of the enslaved Gomeros were released - in Spain - from where they had to find their own way home without any means, to arrive on their now totally subdued native island.
Last Saturday a commemoration ceremony was held at a place called today 'Degollada de Peraza' (Execution of Peraza), and as a symbolic act an earthenware pot was broken again.
Monument in Valle Gran Rey: Hautacuperche holding the
 broken bowl and carrying the weapon to kill  Hernan Peraza
To see a video of a re-enactment of the historic events click here:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

'SKAZZ' live on La Gomera

Just around a street corner I came across an amazing live act, the likes of which haven't  been seen around here lately. The legislation for (or more precisely,against) live music events in Spain has been enforced more strictly in Valle Gran Rey than anywhere else in the Canaries or in the Spanish Peninsula. All about that in another post another day (long, sad story...). So we were all the more delighted to see a great band live, and about 200 locals and tourists dancing and ALL having a good time...  (Special thanks to Manolo).
 For now I just want to share a video of a most entertaining band: SKAZZ (1 Brit, 2 Irish,
1 Canario + Peter, a German/adopted Irish trumpet player). The lighting is poor, the crowd hasn't arrived yet (and there was a huge crowd dancing a bit later), so this is just a taste of things to come, as the band will be around playing for a good while more with better equipment, doing gigs whenever/wherever 'licensed' in Valle Gran Rey (plus a few spontaneous ones), and also in other towns on La Gomera - so keep an eye out for SKAZZ, if you're holidaying on La Gomera. 
... and NO, I'm not their manager, just lovin' a bit of music - by the way.

<Skazz live

And here's a press quote on SKAZZ:

'This five piece are the embodiment of the ska movement starting out as a swing and jazz outfit and converting in early 2007 to pure ska vibes. In keeping with their jazz roots, Skazz have chosen the original Jamaican scene Ska of the 1960’s - when Caribbean mento and calypso first met American jazz and rhythm and blues. Fans of the 2 Tone sound of the late 1970’s will feel at home on this dance floor with the added bonus of an education in pre-reggae/rocksteady tempos and cross rhythms. Having already shared stages with the likes of The Skatalites, Prince Buster, The Pioneers, Syramip, Dennis Alcapone, Winston Francis and Delroy Williams, and with dates this year including the Cork Jazz Festival, Electric Picnic and Waterford Spraoi and Bray Jazz Festival, this promises to be a very special event."
Getting everyone into the skanival mood, Skazz will be skanking the weekend away in style. This lively Clare band have appeared at venues all over Ireland, and with rave reviews everywhere have acquired a huge following.'

Friday, November 16, 2012

Caution when driving in Spain !

The police officers association AUGC have complained today that their members are being pressurised into dishing out more traffic fines in the Canary Islands. Last year saw a sharp drop in fines and the association reckons this is due to a significant reduction in traffic on the roads and more cautious drivers - all due due to the economic crisis and high unemployment rates of up to 33% in the Canaries. They say that after a recent visit of the general commander of the Guardia Civil traffic section to these islands, members of the force received letters stating that they have to 'increase productivity' (i.e. more fines) or face a deduction of 240 Euros of complementary payments from their salaries. The police association complains that through this 'disgraceful practice' their officers will become 'mere tax collectors instead of guarantors of road safety in the archipelago' ...and on the Spanish Peninsula the same applies, I presume. Considering that the traffic police already have a reputation for nit-picking and handing out fines at will, this latest 'initiative from above' will surely cause a fair amount of head shaking in these parts.
You have been warned !

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Demonstration supporting general strike in La Gomera

Last night just after 6pm in San Sebastian de La Gomera a demonstration in support of the Spanish general strike and against the cutbacks proposed and implemented by the Rajoy/Madrid government marched through the streets of the island's capital. The organisers counted 1000 participants who called for an end to austerity measures.
You can find a short video of the event by clicking this:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

General Strike tomorrow, Nov. 14th 2012

The second general strike to confront the Rajoy government in less than a year will take place tomorrow, November 14th. The strike was called by Spanish trade unions with the support of the European confederation of trade unions as a 'day of social action' to coincide with the parliamentary budget debate beginning in Spain today. It is the first time ever that two general strikes of 24 hours duration happen in one year. Strike action is also expected in various other European countries.

In Spain and in the Canary Islands this strike is expected to be widely supported, so be prepared to expect severe disruption, particularly in public transport. Ferry companies for example have announced that there may only be one sailing each way between islands. Make sure to check all your   travel arrangements with the relevant companies or operators  before you travel tomorrow, Wednesday 14th Nov.   

Above + 3 above left: 4 posters of different organisations calling for a general strike in the Canary Islands

Monday, November 12, 2012

4th Valle Luna Festival

      UPDATES here: 
      4th Valle Luna Festival Program(s) 2013
The 4th edition of the popular Valle Luna Festival will take place from the 17th to the 27th of January 2013 in Valle Gran Rey. The festival that started as an ambitious arts festival has been getting somewhat smaller every year due to the crisis, cutbacks in public spending and less sponsorship. It nearly didn't happen at all last year, but was saved at the last minute, when the town hall coughed up some money for the staging of events, but due to the serious fire this summer there is no money available at all. The forthcoming edition will be a 'light' version, according to the organisers, without the larger outdoor stages  to save on costs.  However, there will be lots of street entertainment, pub gigs, and a large full moon party again. If you're interested in taking part, see
With a bit of luck there might even be some Irish traditional music sessions again, like the one during the Valle Luna festival a couple of years ago described in the 'Irish Examiner' by writer Damien Enright:
'For the last two weeks, a music festival, initiated and paid for by the local ‘town-hall’, has been an enjoyable feature of life in the Valle Gran Rey. A few nights ago we enjoyed a session in a bar, led by Christy Barry, from Doolin, Co Clare. Playing a flute or spoons and giving voice to song, he and the largely voluntary ensemble tooted and fluted and carried the crowd away. 
It was a sesiún in the best sense, an impromptu celebration, with two more flautists fluting — both from west Cork — two bodhráns banging, a banjo twanging, an accordion according, two guitars strumming and the vocal contributions of a-man-from-God-knows-where who had lived on Sherkin Island for seven years (where his wife ran an English language school) then in Tasmania (where he saw the old Courtmacsherry lifeboat moored in St. Helen’s and still bearing the name) and now in La Gomera. 
It was a humdinger of a session: they set the hands clapping and the feet stamping. I think I have never seen or heard a better hooley, even in hooley-land.'
Below a photo and a short video of some of the action of the benefit gig for the Haiti earthquake victims during the first Valle Luna Festival in 2010:
'Red Gap' on stage during Valle Luna Festival 2010 (above)
Below from left to right: Will Bevan, Christy Barry, Willie Kirkham and Michael Nagle,
with visual artist Pero painting the musicians live.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Demonstration in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tomorrow at 12 midday a demonstration is taking place in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, starting from Plaza Weyler (location here:
The demonstration, which is being organized by the local eco-pressure group 'La Gomera Se Mueve' (= La Gomera on the move), and supported by by various other groups, will call for the investigation of the fires that affected the islands of Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera. Particularly the blunder made by downgrading the fire on La Gomera in the face of a heat-wave, which subsequently caused the fire to spread and destroy 10%
of La Gomera and 18% of its national park needs to be investigated, according to the organisers. The political 'blame game' that happened between the regional government of La Gomera, the Canary Island's government and the central Spanish administration only made matters worse and will be an issue tomorrow, with 
the motto: 'Mas Nunca', which means 'Never Again' !

The fires on La Gomera were finally declared as extinguished only two weeks ago, after the first rainfalls of the winter. They had started almost three months ago on the 4th of August, eventually spread over a wide area and culminated in a wall of fire that came down the valley here in Valle Gran Rey, damaging/destroying about 100 houses (see previous posts). The fires became more and more difficult to control and even propagated underground through roots and organic material.
The recent rains will speed up recovery and many areas are showing fresh green shoots, but the overall damage to the ecosystem is still considerable, as is the economic damage.
One of the worst affected areas after the fire
Fresh green shoots and new hope in Valle Gran Rey (taken even before the rains)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

La Gomera now UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

Yesterday the whole island of La Gomera was awarded the certification as UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. To quote UNESCO:
'La Gomera, Spain, is part of the Canary archipelago, situated in a central location surrounded by the Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro islands. The Garajonay National Park is located in the central part of the island. It maximum height is 1,487 m (Alto de Garajonay). However the central plateau (1,000 meters of altitude) and the formation of radial and deep ravines is the result of intense erosion. It provides an exceptional landscape. The humidity and the cloud from the sea is often stopped on this plateau and produces a “sea of clouds” effect. The park is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and is noted for its laurisilva rainforest ecosystem.  The landscape is also modelled by agricultural terraces that have strong cultural significance.'

Congratulations and truly deserved !

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Weather in Canaries getting back to normal

While there still are warnings in effect for possibly heavy rainfalls and isolated thunderstorms in the north of Tenerife and on the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura
the general situation has improved a lot and by the end of the day the weather in the Canary Islands should be back to normal.
Valle Gran Rey this morning 9 am

... and yesterday at 11:30am. A thunderstorm is moving in
that lasted half an hour with heavy rain. After that we
 had a beautiful sunny day.

UPDATE 4:30pm

There was a lot of heavy rain in some parts of the Canaries this morning, especially in the North of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, and some stations there registered more than 100 litres/m2.
Lighter showers could still turn turn up anywhere in the Canaries, but will become gradually less frequent.

(As it happens, today is the 186th anniversary of the worst storm on record ever to strike the Canary Islands. On November 7th, 1826 the barometer was recorded as low as 943mb (!) and a violent storm with torrential rain struck these islands, doing major damage, and 253 lives were lost.) 

The rains that came down in the Canaries during the first 7 days of November 2012 brought approximateley the the same amount of rain as was registered over the whole previous (very dry) year, but thankfully it fell without doing any significant damage and brought a welcome end to the drought.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Another weather warning

Today colder air of polar origin will meet the tropical air that has been dominating our weather in the Canary Islands for the past days. At the same time the low pressure system that has been in the west for over a week will start to move away to the NE and finally dissipate. The clash between the two air masses will set off scattered thunderstorms and heavy showers of relatively short duration and warnings have been issued for La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife.
During tomorrow the weather should improve substantially at last.
Isobaric chart for today

Monday, November 05, 2012

Weather much improved in Canary Islands

Taken 30 minutes ago (10:25 am)
Today the sun is shining, the sky is blue and there is hardly any wind. That's the situation on La Gomera right now.
However there still is a risk of occasional showers and strong winds on the islands of La Palma and El Hierro and on higher ground in the north of Tenerife today.
A few well scattered showers are still about and could turn up anywhere in the Canary Islands, but most places will stay dry.
For tomorrow, Tuesday there is another warning of possibly heavier rainfalls and the odd thunderstorm for all of the western Canaries, but the risk is much lower than before.
For the following days the weather should get back to normal with lots of sunshine.

Advice for trekking and walking in the mountains: Avoid cliffs, steep mountainsides, ravines, and abrupt terrain even when the weather turns sunny after substantial rainfalls. The rain has washed material and debris into crevices and gaps in the rocks and when the sun shines this will heat up and dry. The resulting expansion can dislodge rocks and soil, causing rockfalls and landslides. Just apply common sense and don't risk anything. There are plenty of beautiful paths that do not pass dangerous terrain.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Sunny spells, but unsettled weather continues

Even though here in Valle Gran Rey there was no more rain since the downpour on Friday and no significant precipitation elsewhere in the Canary Islands, the weather warnings remain.
There is calm with only a thin layer of broken cloud and the sun coming through at the moment, but the weather situation is dominated by warm and unstable masses of air originating from an area of inter-tropical convergence while the low pressure system in the west is slowly filling and moving very gradually closer to the Canary Islands. It should dissipate within the next three days, and a very large high becomes established over the central north Atlantic which should end the present unsettled spell.
The forecast for today until Tuesday, however is for more unsettled weather with scattered, sometimes heavy showers,  occasionally strong and gusty winds (more on high ground) and a few sunny spells.
Warnings are in effect for the western islands of El Hierro, La Gomera and Tenerife, with La Palma at the highest risk.
This morning's analysis with satellite overlay (OPC/NOAA)

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Weather warnings still in effect in Canary Islands

+ some images of yesterdays downpour

The weather situation remains similar to that of the preceding days (see previous posts) with the low pressure system to the west of the Canary Islands slowly approaching, but gradually weakening.
In short: Occasional heavy showers and scattered thunderstorms together with strong and gusty winds are dominating our weather. Warnings to that effect have been issued and are valid until late Sunday night.The western islands are more at risk, but the eastern islands will  gradually come more under the influence of the unsettled weather,too. 
More and more breaks in the weather with bright and sunny spells will develop as well !
As I write the sun is coming out.

Yesterday afternoon and evening saw the worst of the downpours all over the Canaries and here in Valle Gran Rey on La Gomera we had a particularly heavy thunderstorm nearby which brought torrential rain for a period, like a cloudburst. The roads were like rivers with water 5-10 inches deep on many stretches for a while. Rockfalls could be observed in the 1000ft cliffs towering over the valley and numerous large waterfalls developed. The dark sky and the low rumbling thunder created an eery atmosphere. 
Moderate rain had started at about 8pm the night before and didn't stop until 10 am yesterday.  Then at about about 1pm it started again, getting gradually heavier and culminating in the afternoon in a heavy and prolonged thunderstorm. The only major incident, though was when a 'portacabin' office went for a swim in the sea after getting swept away by the rush of water.
We got caught-up in the middle of it and got drenched, while enjoying the experience after the prolonged drought this year. There were locals seen literally 'dancing in the rain', while disgruntled tourists, sheltering wherever they could, were watching mildly bemused. O.K, when you book a holiday for a precious week in the sun and then get an awful lot of rain, it doesn't fulfil the expectations - but this week the weather situation was a very rare event in the Canaries. At least the rain was very warm and to cheer up a tourist couple who were getting soaked in the rain, one local man was overheard saying to them: 'Welcome to the swimming pool - the water is 26 degrees today'.

Thankfully I left the DSLR at home and only brought the small spare camera with me, because it got completely soaked and what's left of the images is of very poor quality,
Tons of water falling several hundred feet
taken in a brief spell of lighter rain. A few of those here, and  2 short videos of the masses of water filling the 'barranco' (the normally dry riverbed) at the bottom of this post. The dark taint of the water is due to ashes from the recent fires having been washed down which gave it that peculiar smell that develops when water is poured over ashes.

Massive waterfalls, considering that this
 mountain is over 1500 feet high       
The 'barranco' in spate     

The 'barranco' a couple of hours after the downpour: Water levels have fallen, but are still impressive.

Rainfall totals for the past 5 days from the few official AEMET stations:

El Paso, La Palma = 426,8mm
Valverde, El Hierro= 374,6mm. 
El Pinar. Depósito, El Hierro= 359,4mm. 
Tazacorte, La Palma= 281,9mm. 
Tijarafe, La Palma= 255,8mm.
Las Cañadas del Teide, Tenerife= 246mm. 
Chipude C F, Vallehermoso, La Gomera= 206,2mm. 
San Andrés y Sauces, Tenerife= 236mm.
Los Silos , Tenerife= 168mm. 
Agulo, La Gomera= 146mm. 
Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife= 140,2mm. 
San Juan de la Rambla, Tenerife= 135,6mm.
La Victoria de Acentejo= 123,8mm. 
Tacoronte, La Palma= 98,6mm. 
Aeropuerto Tenerife Norte = 93,3mm.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife = 92,7mm.

There is no weather station in Valle Gran Rey, but rainfall accumulation is estimated to be at least 150mm

There were NO reports of any significant 

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Warnings extended in Canary Islands

After a relatively calm night with a much clearer sky, another band of showers is moving in from southwest. Weather warnings have been extended until this afternoon:
Showers (some heavy), isolated thunderstorms and strong and gusty winds on high ground are all imminent !
It is beginning to rain as I write in Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera.
Satellite picture :

For history, details and development of this weather situation go to my previous post : Hurricane Sandy indirectly affecting Canary Islands


#1  ( 5 pm):

The Spanish met. office (AEMET) has cancelled nearly all warnings in the Canaries (except for the island of La Palma and the mountain regions of Tenerife) up to and including Saturday.
The Canarian Society for Metereology (ACM), however has released a red alert warning of isolated thunderstorms, heavy showers, and strong and gusty winds in and near the mountains - with the western Canaries most at risk.I would take their advice and remain cautious.
The low to the west of the Canary Islands is still in place and slowly approaching, but It will eventually begin to gradually fill and weaken during its approach. It will still affect our weather negatively until Sunday at least, however.
The weather here on La Gomera today has been a mix of scattered moderate showers, moderate winds (stronger in the mountains) and some sunny spells. The temperature remains fairly high for this type of weather at around 25ºC.
There are no reports of any significant incidents, but roads and paths remain dangerous with lots of debris being reported. Lots of crews are out on this public holiday clearing roads and blocked drains.
Enhanced Satellite image of late this afternoon. (NOAA)

#2   ( 8 pm):

It has been raining moderately for the past 45 minutes and 
as you can see on the rainfall radar, the band of showers
has reached the Canary Islands and La Gomera cannot be
seen under the rain reflection on the screen, As I write the rain is increasing ...
...and 10 minutes later decreases to light...

#3   ( 10:15 pm):

Heavy rain has been falling in Valle Gran Rey
for the past 30 minutes and visibility is 
greatly reduced. 
All observations show that cells of heavy precipitacion 
have developed very rapidly to the SW and have reached 
the SW of the Canary Islands.

#4    ( 01/11/12 - 11:45 pm ):

There's no let-up ! Still raining quite strongly, and the
barranco (a normally dry riverbed on the floor of the
 valley) is like a river in spate now.
The heavy rain has reached many parts of Tenerife now, not to mention the island of El Hierro.
... ah yes, the spanish official weather service under the Madrid ministry for the environment (etc.) has woken up to the facts on this holiday and has issued a rain warning again.

#5   (02/11/12 - 1:30 am)

It is still raining in Valle Gran 
Rey and many parts of the western Canaries. 
In Valle Gran Rey we're possibly
a bit more worried because 71 years ago on Halloween 1941 there was an event locally referred to as 'the great flood',when torrential rain did a lot of damage here and in other parts of the island. Lives and livestock were lost and to this day the event is regularly remembered and discussed.

During yesterday some places in the western islands registered between 50 and 100 litres/m2 of rain already.

On the right the 'rainbow' satellite picture taken at midnight (Meteosat/NOAA)

#6  (02/11/12 - 3:30 am):

Still raining and now there's a thunderstorm not too far 
away in the southwest with a very low rumbling thunder.

This radar screenshot on the right shows the accumulated precipitation for the past six hours. El Hierro as well as parts of Tenerife got most of it, with La Gomera showing the highest amount. 7 am  (02/11/12)

...still raining, but there was very little wind all night where I live. There were a good few rockfalls during the past few hours and the thunderstorm lasted for more than an hour, but discharged mostly over the sea. The rain was mainly moderate, but quite heavy at times.

A big bulldozer went up the mountain on themain road in the dead of night - probably to clear the road of rocks and debris.                                                                        

The three images are basically the same satellite picture
taken at 6 am from Eumetsat but have undergone different
enhancements by NOAA to allow a more precise interpretation.
On the top right is 'infrared 2', below that is 'avn' (used for aviation), and at the bottom right water vapour is shown more clearly.
Anyway all three testify that there is still plenty of development taking place when compared with previous images.

All images can be clicked to enlarge 


The rain just now has become very

light, and later today the weather should

improve considerably - but CAUTION: there remains a risk of sudden changes. 

#8  at 8:30 am  (02/11/12): might have guessed it: Rain is lashing down again after a brief respite and another thunderstorm can be heard approaching from SW.
The 'barranco' during the pause in the rain early this morning

More bands of precipitation moving in from SW  (8:20 am)

#9  at  10:30 am  (02/11/12):

The rain has stopped for the time being here in Valle Gran Rey on La Gomera and the sky is still overcast but much brighter.
Rain is however being reported from other areas in the Canaries and more rain in the form of showers is forecast for the next couple of days, but more breaks are likely. With the almost tropical air coming up from the SW the temperature should remain pleasantly high. ACM have just lowered their alert level from red to orange, while AEMET have issued yellow warnings for wind and rain from today and until Sunday.

Ports and airports are operating normally and no significant incidents were reported.
Locals are welcoming the rain like an early Christmas present !

The type of weather (warm + humid) we're having should help the fungi and mushrooms in the forest of the national park to grow again, like this one spotted a couple of days ago growing on the trunk of a tree ^ - with a worm (on the top left) having a feast.

#10  at  1:25 pm (02/11/12):

It is starting again - a thunderstorm is fairly close to La Gomera,getting closer every minute, and rain of large drops is falling. 

Radar image taken at 1:10 pm

#11  at 5:45 pm  (02/11/12):

Well, well, well - since the last update I was 'out and about' a lot and had to witness a 
cloudburst, of such intensity and duration - so locals tell me - that hasn't happened since 1975. 
I'm soaked to the bone, just arrived home tired, hungry and wet, with gigabytes of poor quality visual footage to sort out, information from the 'elders' to mull over, after discussing historical weather events with local farmers and fishermen while humouring disgruntled and stuck tourists. In short: I could write an illustrated book about the past few hours...
So please bear with me and maybe you won't be disappointed. It just might take some (?) more time, if I don't just collapse with fatigue.
Hope to see you later...
Go to homepage or click: Weather warnings still in effect in Canary Islands