Recently we have a very strong winds, strong enough to loosen my washing from the line and scatter it around the garden. This made me think that now winter is here, I will probably soon be putting regular warnings on Queenie’s Tenerife weather blog.
I dread doing this, as I know that once I do, I will get messages from people who are worried at the words “warning” or “alert”. They wonder if these will spoil their long awaited holiday, I even had someone wonder if it was going to be dangerous and should they cancel their holiday.
As a local, it may sound complacent but we only really take notice of the “maximum alerts” that are issued by the Dirección General de Seguridad y Emergencias del Gobierno de Canarias. When this happens, we know there is likely to be unusual weather conditions, which could be very hot, extremely high seas, rain, wind, or weather that could lead to forest fires. So it is these we tend to take seriously.
There are other weather warnings; these are the ones I usually add to my blog. The Spanish National Weather Service (AEMET) issues them – for Brits, think Met Office. These are colour coded and in most cases automatically generated based on weather conditions.
Here’s what the colours mean. Seeing them written down they are not as confusing as you initially think and basically just common sense.
Green: The one we see most days. Nothing at all to worry about and probably glorious weather.
Yellow: There may be risks associated with some areas such as sea conditions that are often ignored because in land the weather can be perfect. Similarly with strong winds these may not affect your normal everyday activities but you could lose your washing off your line – as I did!
Orange: Means people going about their everyday activities could be at a slightly higher than usual risk, but providing you heed the warning and are sensible you are perfectly safe. It is the idiot that insists on swimming when the red flag is flying that is in danger.
Red: The weather is exceptional, not what we are used to and the public are at a higher level of risk. So do be careful and take note.
Despite what feels like a gale blowing while I am writing this blog, I couldn´t find a red alert for the Canary Islands, in fact there wasn’t any alert for the islands so to show you what they are like here is one that includes a little bit of each and covers the mainland.