Yesterday we had quite persistent rain in Puerto de la Cruz. I mention this because it shows the contrary nature of the weather on Tenerife.
A lot of people out there will be aware that the island has been battered by a pretty serious storm this week. The irony is that whilst we read reports and watched TV footage of ravines being turned into raging torrents; houses being flooded; cars being swept away; roads strewn with debris and beaches in some of the southern resorts being partly washed away, in Puerto de la Cruz we had a few showers and there was hardly a breath of wind. On this occasion Mount Teide protected the northern coast from the worst of the weather – most of the rain was dumped on the south, west and east sides of the island.
Then the weather forecasters announced the storm had moved away yesterday… and it started to chuck it down here. It served me right. When someone I was due to meet on Wednesday in Puerto sent a text on Tuesday to say that they didn’t think they’d make the journey because of the atrocious weather, I smugly replied ‘but it’s lovely and sunny over this side’.
Those of us who know the island well and know its history understand that, although it is almost the most perfect climate all over the island, Tenerife does experience the occasional extreme of weather and has done throughout its documented history.
The world’s inclement weather doesn’t stop at Tenerife’s coastline and say ‘Oh that’s Tenerife – its perfect weather there don’t you know, we can’t spoil that’.
However, some people act as though that this is the case. Blizzards and below freezing temperatures have created a mini ice age over much of Europe this winter, but some think that the world’s weather has no impact on Tenerife’s. I’ve noticed people on some travel forums saying things like ‘rain – I thought Tenerife was supposed to have a perfect climate.’ As though they’d been lied to.
I understand that people coming on holiday have concerns about weather, especially the British who seem to suffer more than most when it comes to crap weather at home, but if Tenerife had unbroken sunshine for 365 days the whole place would be a desert. Some of it is. As it happens it doesn’t rain much – anywhere on the island – but it does rain, especially in November and February. Remember that when people referred to Tenerife as having a perfect climate, they weren’t originally meaning for lying on a beach for two weeks (although it is a hard place to beat for that as well), they were talking about living – and that includes the farmers.
The other curious thing I noticed on Tripadvisor was how some people reacted to being told about the storm and weather warnings. On two occasions detailed posts about what were happening were almost completely ignored, the next posters asking ‘so can anyone tell me what’s the weather like now?’
What this really meant was ‘I don’t want to hear this; I want someone to tell me that it’s going to be sunny.’
One person even went as far as to search weather forecasts until they found one which had clearly got it all wrong by forecasting that it was going to be sunny when ‘serious’ forecasts were warning ‘batten down the hatches’. The fact that it was wrong mattered less than the fact that it showed exactly what they wanted to see.
Like I said, I understand visitors’ concerns. When I’m going to a place where I’m hoping for wall to wall sunshine, I don’t want rain and storms, but sometimes I get them – the weather is the weather.
The wonderful thing about Tenerife is that bad weather rarely lasts very long. Within 48 hours of the weather warning being issued the sun was shining in the south again. That’s the reality of weather on Tenerife.
And this morning we woke in Puerto de la Cruz to clear blue skies and this magnificent vision. Like they say, every rain filled cloud has a silver lining.