The arrival of storm Irene recently brought significant instability to the Canary Islands, including pronounced wind gusts and sporadic light rain. The State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) issued yellow and orange alerts for several islands due to high winds, and for coastal waves and rain on La Palma. Additionally, the Canary Islands Government declared a wind alert for the peaks, upper regions, and midlands of Tenerife and La Palma. Pre-alerts for strong waves were also in place for El Hierro and La Isla Bonita.
The most intense wind gusts were recorded in the higher areas of the larger islands. Izaña experienced gusts reaching 119 km/h, Agüimes saw winds of 103 km/h, and La Palma’s Mazo Airport recorded gusts of 96 km/h. Other notable wind speeds included 95 km/h at Roque de los Muchachos and 88 km/h in San Andrés y Sauces. Sustained winds were also strong, with Izaña experiencing winds of 83 km/h, Roque de los Muchachos 68 km/h, and Mazo Airport 61 km/h.
Despite forecasts of heavy rainfall, particularly with a severe warning for La Palma, it largely did not materialize. Instead, there were dry storms with significant lightning, particularly in the south of Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, where over 2,000 lightning strikes were recorded, but with minimal rain and occasional hail, like in La Santa.
Agüimes saw the highest rainfall accumulation at 3.2 litres per square metre, followed by Garafía (La Palma) with 2.2 l/m², San Andrés (El Hierro) with 1 l/m², and Cruz de Tejeda and Vega de San Mateo each with 0.8 l/m². The islands also experienced unusually high temperatures for this period, with several areas exceeding 28°C. The highest temperatures were recorded in La Oliva, Fuerteventura, at 31.6°C, and in Gran Canaria at Gando Airport and La Aldea de San Nicolás, both at 30.6°C, and Agüimes at 30.3°C.
STORM IRENE: FORECAST IN THE CANARY ISLANDS
The State Meteorological Agency predicts continued instability due to Irene, with decreasing wind intensity and increased cloud formation, particularly inland. Rain is likely, especially in the morning in northwest La Palma and Tenerife. Light and intermittent rain is expected in the northeast of Gran Canaria, La Gomera, and El Hierro, with potential moderate intensity from midday. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura might experience cloudy intervals and occasional light showers.
A temperature drop of 5 to 8 degrees is expected in parts of Gran Canaria, with temperatures ranging from 24°C in La Gomera to 15°C in El Hierro.
Strong south-westerly winds will continue to affect the summits and high areas of Tenerife and La Palma, with potential gusts over 70 km/h. In Gran Canaria, winds could occasionally be strong. This is attributed to a new trough moving across the archipelago from west to east, bringing cloudy intervals and moderate rain, with the possibility of heavy rainfall, especially in the west and north of the western islands.
On Friday, cloudy intervals with occasional light rain, potentially moderate in the north of the larger islands, are expected to continue.