Gran Canaria Calima

Dunas de Maspalomas in Gran Canary

Visitors from the UK taking a holiday on the island of Gran Canaria will sometimes feel that this island, situated out in the Atlantic Ocean, is not too different from the UK in some respects. There are now plenty of ex-pats who have made their home here, so hearing English spoken is not unusual. Also the reach of globalisation has touched Gran Canaria now and after a Lidl store opening this year, the island now also has a brand new Starbucks to satisfy the thirst for coffee that many Brits seem to be acquiring.

One thing British visitors will not recognise, however, is one of the island’s more unusual weather events, a phenomena that took place recently and served to remind everyone that Gran Canaria is not close to the UK, but actually just a few hundred miles from the Sahara Desert.

The island experienced its first Calima of the season last week. This strange weather pattern which is more accurately described as Saharan Air Layer, sees a very warm stream of air passing over the island. Temperatures can rise by over 10 degrees Celsius, but another effect is the wind and dust the Calima brings. The reddish brown Saharan sand can reduce visibility and leave every surface covered in a fine layer of dust. Fortunately, the typical Calima in Gran Canaria will last just a few hours.

The Calima seems to have past now and the medium range forecast is for consistent days of sunshine with temperatures in the mid-seventies, perfect!

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