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 

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