Brits warned Canary Islands holidays more likely than ever to be ruined by thick haze

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun10,2024

The Canary Islands may as close to heaven on earth as any of us can find, but there’s one unusual phenomenon that significantly undermines the archipelago’s attractiveness – and it’s getting worse.

The calima, translated into English as haze, sees sand storms bury the islands in a thick cloud of hot, dusty wind blown in from the Sahara.

Despite becoming less frquent, the storms are becoming more intense. So, if your holiday is blighted by calima, it’ll be more debilitating than it’s ever been before.

Since 1980, the islands have seen 483 episodes of calima, meaning that the yearly average is 24 affected days per year. Each episode lasts an average of 1.8 days.

There is however some good news for Brits heading to the Canaries this summer: the most intense storms taken place in January and February.

So if you are jetting off to Tenerife, Gran Canaria or one of the other islands, the chances are you shouldn’t see the worst storms of the year. That said, the Canaries government have already issued pre-alert status for calima four times this year.

However, that doesn’t mean your flights won’t be impacted. In February 2020, a severe calima saw all eight airports across the archipelago shut causing travel choas and ruining people’s holiday plans.

So what are you meant to do, if you find yourself in the midst of a calima?

Experts advise people to remain indoors with doors and windows shut, drink plenty of liquids and wear face masks if they need to go out.

Weather expert and co-author of the upcoming book Surviving Extreme Weather, Jim Dale, told “It’s not that heat and dust in suspension will be there on every occasion, but any airstream moving west of the Sahara (normally) will carry the risk.

“We are living in a changed world and visitors would do well to take note of the local warnings and what to do if caught up in such conditions.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Brits warned Canary Islands holidays more likely than ever to be ruined by thick haze”
  1. As someone who loves traveling to the Canary Islands, it’s disheartening to hear about the increasing threat of calima ruining holidays. Despite the improving frequency, the intensifying storms are concerning. Let’s hope for smoother skies for all future visitors.

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