Lanzarote weather

You´ve chosen your holiday to Lanzarote and are eagerly awaiting your (hopefully) break in the sun. But will the weather live up to expectations?

Lanzarote lies off the west coast of Africa, about 400 miles south from the south coast of Spain, so you´d expect it to be very hot and sultry, especially in July and August where it´s very much that way in the south of Spain and the Mediterranean. Wrong! Lanzarote is in the Atlantic Ocean which, unlike the Mediterranean, is a cool ocean and the sea temperature around Lanzarote varies from 17C to 24C.

The prevailing wind is a north to north easterly, so has a sea track before arriving in Lanzarote. This is due to the presence of the Azores High, an area of high pressure which sits for most of the year to the west of the Canaries feeding the north to northeast wind across the island. This track over the cool Atlantic means that the heat is very much tempered, resulting in average temperatures even in the summer months of around 29C. With low humidity and the effect of the cooling wind, this makes it very pleasant in the daytime and easy to sleep at night.

Lanzarote weather

Watch out for that sun though! In the middle of summer it´s almost directly overhead and the sun index is 10+ extreme – you don´t get any higher. Put on a high factor sunscreen and try to avoid the sun in the middle of the day. Even on cloudy days you can burn so strong is the sun, so be very careful. With the cooling breezes, you may not realize you are burning until it´s too late, and then your holiday is ruined. Even in winter, you can burn in the sun, so you need protection all year round.

Through the summer months from May through to October, you are unlikely to see any rain. There may be an isolated thunderstorm but that´s all. Often it´ll start cloudy in the morning with the wind having picked up moisture from the Atlantic overnight, but this soon burns away to leave plenty of blue skies for the rest of the day. From mid to end October through to April, you may see some rain.

This comes mostly in the form of short lived showers and often comes overnight. Unless you are very unlucky, you will also see plenty of warm sun through the winter months with average daytime maximums of around 21C to 24C, making it the warmest winter destination in Europe. Very occasionally, the wind will turn southeast, strengthen and blow very hot, dry air from the Sahara desert in Africa. In summertime, temperatures can soar to over 40C but this doesn´t normally last long. Sometimes the sun can be blotted out by dust picked up from the desert on the high winds. This is called a Calima.

Despite the island being quite small, there are differences in the weather. With the prevailing wind being north to northeast, the south is warmest and sunniest. The wind can be quite a feature in Lanzarote – a beneficial one in summer! – and again the south fares best with it having a bit more shelter. In the winter, the wind tends to die away.

The Canaries´ weather is the reason why they call the Islands “The Fortunate Islands”. For very good reason!

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