Tenerife Tales
An Ex Pat´s Life On A Rock In The Atlantic by Sue Havenhand

Stormy Weather

Well, what a couple of weeks we are having here in the Canaries as numerous storm fronts come rolling over. As I type the rain is rattling down, the wind howling, and we have just endured a 5 hour power cut due to lightning striking something or other on the National Grid.

That our Islands enjoy “All Year Round Sunshine” is in fact slightly economical with the truth, and should perhaps read “With the Possibility of All Year Round Sunshine”. Indeed, the poor holidaymakers who have flown in over the past few days might be wondering who in Trades Descriptions they might aim their complaints at.  It´s like this – if you have a calm, cloudless day in the winter months then you can bask on the beach or by the pool in temperatures as high as the mid 20´s, it really is lovely, and why tourists flock to the Canaries in their tens of thousands in search of this winter sun. However, the chances of a cloudy day here and there are quite high, and without the sun on your back it can start to feel chilly. Locals wouldn’t dream of visiting the beach in winter and enjoy sporting their winter wardrobes of jumpers, woolly tights and boots, and in the evening a warm coat is a must. December, January and February can also bring storms, and we are on our third of the winter this week. Talk about four seasons in one day, I was awakened yesterday morning by torrential, and I mean torrential rain, and high winds. Within 3 hours it was bright sunshine and the puddles had all but disappeared. The worst was not over though, and today has brought yet another round of  gales and horizontal rainfall.

The problem with rain and Tenerife is that the two just do not sit well together. Unlike the UK where the earth will absorb rainfall in all but the most extreme cases, Tenerife is an Island of volcanic rock. Add to that it is shaped like a witches hat, with the majestic Mount Teide at it´s center, and it is plain to see that the water has nowhere to go but down to the sea.  Within literally minutes of heavy rain like that of today you have roads turned into rivers and utter chaos as a vast amount of water races down hill to the sea.  Just search “2010 Storms in Tenerife” in Youtube for spectacular footage of what happens in when it rains.

Only a couple of weeks ago one of the South´s premier tourist beaches was left in ruins as a storm surge replaced the sand and sunbeds with rocks, and broke the little blue and white changing huts to pieces.  Heaven knows how much the clean up will cost the authorities but clean it up they will, and soon. My local beach may have to wait a little longer however, since is not in the typical tourist zone, although it is very popular with the local community. What was an expanse of sand now has a river winding across it, a river of red fresh water having made its way down from the hills, awash with debris. At the moment I cannot imagine Playa La Tejita ever being the same again, but I guess it will be, eventually.

In a few days this current storm will have blown itself out, and everyone will be happy and on the beach again. Personally, I am looking forward to that. In the meantime I look forward to an unscheduled late morning tomorrow since school is cancelled due to the extreme weather. Clouds, silver linings?????

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2 Responses to “Stormy Weather”

  1. It’s as bad as anything macabre I could put in one of my Tall Tenerife Tales Suzy … and not over yet!

  2. Thanks for this Suzy. I have seen the videos of the terrible damage that the storms have done to the lovely Island. I think you have had it much worse than us in the UK. Hope it stops soon and you get no more power cuts or storms.


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